Treat Pot Like Booze and Tax It

Bob L.    Just My opinion
Feb. 26th 2015

Treat Pot Like Booze and Tax It, why not tax it like Tobacco, people smoke it like a Cigarette, so tax it as what it really is, Tobacco, just as deadly as Cigarettes and Booze, both kill the same, booze and pot people can not control what they are doing when high, and Pot and Tobacco, kill with second-hand smoke, so they both should be taxed high to help pay for Obamacare.

What is good for one is good for both, and the money they put in for drug abuse that is being promoted by United States Governments, that should be used to help pay for Medicaid, not drug abuse, there would not be drug abuse if the Government was doing their job that they are being paid to do, instead they throw parties, hand out Bonuses’ plus their wages, NO Government Employee deserve Bonuses’ or Cost of Living for what they get paid a year, every private Citizen would like to get paid what Government Employees get.

Just think of the Jobs that will be lost because of Safety and not being able to pass a drug screening to work on jobs that requires a safe environment for all, in a factory or on the Highway because people can not do their job safely, because they are high on a drug or Alcohol.

New Bills in Congress Would Treat Pot Like Booze and Tax It

By Jacob Adelman | Takepart.com February 24, 2015

The call of the pot-decriminalization crowd has long been “Legalize it!”

Now the movement could very well adopt a more practically minded motto: “Regulate it!”

That’s the idea behind two bills House Democrats introduced late last week. One would change the classification of pot, taking it off the schedule of controlled substances policed by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, would instead put pot alongside booze on the federal code governing “intoxicating liquors,” according to a statement on his website. Federal oversight of cannabis would go to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, meanwhile, introduced the so-called Marijuana Tax Revenue Act of 2015, which creates a federal excise tax on nonmedical marijuana sales that would ramp up to 25 percent as the legal trade displaced the black market. Considering the marijuana industry is estimated to be worth billions of dollars, that could be a hefty new revenue stream.

Polis’s bill leverages an argument legalization advocates have been making for decades: With marijuana off the black market, safeguards could be put in place to ensure against sale to minors, as is the case with alcohol. States would still be free to ban pot within their borders, as they are with alcohol (Mississippi didn’t repeal prohibition until 1966).

While libertarian arguments against drug prohibition have always convinced a handful of conservatives, Blumenauer’s bill hinges on the idea that a straightforward system of weed taxation could bring the more fiscally conscious voters on the other side of the aisle into the fold as well.

“They’re saying, marijuana’s not more harmful than alcohol, so you shouldn’t treat it any differently,” said Michael Collins, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization advocacy group. “They’re saying as well that there’s not only the cost savings from ending prohibition by stopping arrests, but you can also generate greater tax revenue and invest that in places where revenue is needed.”

There’s fresh science to back up the idea that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, with new findings out this week that researchers may regularly underestimate risks associated with drinking alcohol.

The bills are the latest attempt by House lawmakers to help clear the way for a decriminalized marijuana market. Past efforts, including legislation proposed by former Financial Services Committee chair Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, in 2011, and by California Republican Dana Rohrabacher in 2013, failed to reach the floor for a vote.

However, attitudes toward pot use seem to be changing rapidly, with voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., opting this past November to join Colorado in approving limited recreational use and possession of cannabis. Today 51 percent of Americans support legalization, according to a poll taken by Gallup in October, up from 34 percent in 2003 (though down from 57 percent in 2013). The Justice Department under the Obama administration has also eased up on marijuana prosecutions, saying it will not challenge state decisions to legalize pot.

Blumenauer introduced a rescheduling bill in 2013, though it went nowhere. Still, said Vanderbilt University Law School professor and drug law expert Robert Mikos, “I think, in a sense, if you keep trying the same thing, at some point you might get a different result.” Nevertheless, he doesn’t think enough minds have yet changed for the latest proposals to become law.

Polis said in his statement that the legislation he’s proposing aims to fortify states’ clearance of marijuana use to protect “small business owners, medical marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws” if federal prosecutors resume an aggressive stance. Blumenauer said that his Marijuana Tax Revenue Act aims to move “this quickly growing industry out of the shadows.”

Indeed, advocates pushing for federal laws that regulate marijuana seem to be taking a page from states that have used a legal framework to help free the drug from its black-market stigma, said Sam Kamin, a University of Denver constitutional law professor who served as an adviser on implementing Colorado’s 2012 ballot measure permitting pot use.

“Rather than simply legalizing, they are going to tax and regulate and make sure you’re buying in a clean, well-lighted place rather than a street corner,” he said. “I think for a lot of people, that’s really resonated.”

Original article from TakePart

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