Skip to comments.Obama In Favor Of Giving Marijuana Jurisdiction To States
Posted on 02/27/2009 2:01:36 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
Washington, DC (AHN) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hinted that President Obama supports ending raids on pot dispensaries in California, allowing states to make their own rules regarding the use of medical marijuana.
Speaking as a Washington news conference, Holder discussed DEA raids since Obama took office, saying the administration has changed its policy.
"What the president said during the campaign, you'll be surprised to know, will be consistent with what we'll be doing here in law enforcement," he said. "What he said during the campaign is now American policy."
Obama told an interviewer in March that it was "entirely appropriate" for a state to legalize the medical use of marijuana "with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors," adding that he saw no difference between doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers.
Advocacy groups have been protesting Drug Enforcement Agency raids in California, including four on Los Angeles-area dispensaries on Feb 2, prompting White House spokesman Nick Schapiro to respond.
"The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws" and expects his appointees to follow that policy, Schapiro said.
The federal government has fought state medicinal pot laws since Californians voted in 1996 to repeal criminal penalties for medical use of marijuana.
But Obama's move is a sharp departure from President George W. Bush's administration which often raided medical marijuana growers and clinics, prosecuting suppliers under federal drug laws and pressuring commercial property owners to evict marijuana dispensaries by threatening legal action.
Now, maybe. But what if hte stuff is legalized? Illegality is what puts the "cash" value in marijuana as a cash crop. Nicotiana tabacum, in the form of Burley tobacco, used for cigarettes, gets a farmer about $1.75 a pound, after drying.
What is Cannabis sativa going to fetch the farmer when it is just another cash crop? More than tobacco? Certainly at first, but for how long?
Today, somebody used to paying $100 an ounce for "cheap" marijuana, and many times that for hydroponically grown, high THC stuff, might think that a $50.00 an ounce tax, (as proposed in Sacramento) in exchange for legalization, is a great deal. Certainly the knowledge that you won't be arrested, or shot in the head, tryuing to buy dope is worth a lot, and the tax will bring in some money the first few years.
But when the untaxed crop is selling for, let's be crazy and say 10 times as much as tobacco, or $17.50 a pound, how great will a tax of $800 a pound seem then? A tax on retailers under the bill under proposal in Sacramento.
Hmmm. If a guy buys weed from a legal retailer, 97.5% of the dealer's raw material cost is for excise tax. If, on the other hand, the weed buyer buys from a production chain that doesn't pay taxes, well he can pay his non-taxed supplier $408.75 a pound for non-taxed weed, or 23 times the $17.50 a pound the farmer in the tax paid distribution chain gets (which is, remember, 10 times what the tobacco farmer gets), and still pay just half the product cost (much less selling price) of the the legal, taxed retailer.
That doesn't sound like a formula for a vast influx of cash to the State coffers. It sounds like changing the offense for marijuana possession to a revenue crime.
Remember all those movies about moonshiners in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? The Federal Excise Tax on distilled liquor was $12.50 a proof gallon, or what 50-60% of the retail price of rot gut at a licensed, taxed liquor store? This tax is 90%+. Any bets on whether the State of California (again, after a brief burst of revenue) spends more on beefing up its revenue collection efforts than it actually collects at $800 a pound?
What a pant load. It was never a legitimate federal issue at the start. All the states ever had to do was refuse to allow the feds to enforce their regs. Simple enough to do, and nothing the feds can do about it.
The FDA has done us a real service recently with it's concern and diligence in keeping the American Public safe from poisons in our food and bad pharmaceuticals . </sarcasm>
“All the states ever had to do was refuse to allow the feds to enforce their regs.”
Oh, Baby...but that Federal Cash is Sweeeeeeet! Like milk from your Mother’s bosom. And the Feds were smart enough (or just EVIL enough) to tie Federal Funding to lots of things...helmet laws, seat belt laws, insurance laws, liquor laws and taxes, gasoline taxes in turn for fixing roads with federal cash...you name it!
States Governments and their Governors are JUST as addicted to Federal Cash as the State Citizens are to their particular vices.
Nor am I.
Pot dealers, to maintain their lifestylesuch as it iswill have to move on to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, or switch to stealing cars.
Agreed. Why did the states pay any attention to this in the first place? Seems I read somewhere: “all other powers are reserved to the states, and to the people”.
They collect sales taxes from medical marijuana dispensaries in California already. If it was legalized and mass produced without any fear of arrest or seizure the process would drop through the floor and there would be plenty of room for taxes. And there aren't many moonshiners left here in the South. Mostly it's just a good ole’ boy here and there cooking up a little hooch and sharing it with friends and family. There is no big market for it involving major organized crime like with illegal drugs. I bet 95+% of alcohol sales are through legal channels. So, if illegal growers are selling some weed like moonshiners in the South, it wouldn't be such a big deal.
I don’t think the state will be satisfied with just sales tax.
IIRC, medical marijuana in CA is about $300/oz. and they do a booming business. I would think a $50 dollar/oz. tax would be reasonable - reasonable being defined as getting maximum revenues without creating a black market.
CA wants money. Period. They want to nab as much as they can of the $8.3 billion that the Mexican cartels receive every year from marijuana sold in the US.¹ It is in their interest to have a well regulated and reasonably taxed market.
Even if they make a hash of it, it would strike a blow for the Tenth Amendment, and mean the end of the WOD as we know it. That should be supported, IMO.
¹John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said marijuana, not heroin or cocaine, is the "bread and butter," "the center of gravity" for Mexican drug cartels that every year smuggle tons of it through the porous U.S.-Mexico border. Of the $13.8 billion that Americans contributed to Mexican drug traffickers in 2004-05, about 62 percent, or $8.6 billion, comes from marijuana consumption.
Well, that's the beauty of the whole federalism / laboratories of democracy thing. One size doesn't have to fit all. If you don't like dope smoking, shop for a state that doesn't allow it. It's none of the feds' business anyway. Plus, then the states would have to COMPETE to have laws the sheeple want. All being forced into the same mold is also an effective excuse to cover their butts for passing some law the people don't like and that they couldn't get away with if done on their own when the state next door didn't pass the same law.
LOLOL! That was a good laugh! Thanks!
My .223 rifle is a Stoner SR-15.
I wonder if he’ll exempt IT because of its name...
The gin sounds good to me too. I guess I have lost my youthful enthusiasm that I had 20 or 30 years ago before the ozone turned into a family and the responsibility of citizenship.
I’m sure the government has the eye on taxing pot as a revenue source. So it is doubtful the price consumers would pay would drop much. For the grower the profit will still be there because they aren’t going to register the crop and pay taxes. There is considerable mistrust due to the war on drugs. duh wonder why?? lol
There is already an underground economy around the pot trade. At least until the supply becomes saturated with all the gardens. Who needs to buy when one can grow their own legally?
A side note. Law enforcement could spend more time solving violent crime and property crimes, but would probably become revenooers. But it really should be a state issue and decision and not a federal one.
Frankly I really don’t care about the pot issue either way.
But one could assume all kinds of new money for “health care” from pot taxes. yeah sure.
Maybe FDR’s ending prohibition is what got him re-elected 3 times when the depression and unemployment conditions never really improved?
Maybe because Obama has been trying to emulate FDR, A stoned nation could help him accomplish his goals of socialsim.
When the people wake up from their stupor they would say “Like wow maaan...what happened” huh huh huh”
“Hey you have to know all this info when battling the lying drug warriors.”
Awww I thought you were speaking from experience from your hydroponic garden under the halogen gro lites ;)
“Can you make ethanol out of it?”
Yeah, the bill in California now calls for a $50 per ounce excise plus sales tax. I don't know how that would work. I don't see it passing anyway. If it did, it'd not an incredibly high excise, about $1.76 a gram. From what I hear pot is expensive in California and these medical marijuana dispensaries will often sell it for something like $15 to $30 a gram, plus sales tax. They're estimating that the price will drop by 50%. I'm not sure how that would happen if it was still illegal under federal law. There would still be risk of arrest and seizure from the feds and I wouldn't think smart investors would want to invest in a large scale production operation.
That would be high pressure sodium or metal halide grow lights, not halogen. Halogen lights produce mostly heat and not much usable light for plants. Hey, we have to know this stuff when we are arguing with drug warriors.
Same here. Turn the power back to the states, let them become their own empires again!
Dad has a secret...
I can say for certain that he is not, he is wrong about how much cloning speeds things up.
Six weeks budding...nonsense. Perhaps with freaky genetics but never from growing from clones.
Cloning takes about 2-4 weeks off veg.
Or so I'm told.