Okay. Yesterday I wrote a story about the huge debt this country is in. And I went on a singular approach on how to address it – raise taxes on the rich. A stance befitting of the bleeding-heart socialistic Marxist tree hugger polar cap melting person some believe me to be.
I would rather think it’s just common sense. The rich have an excess of what this country needs. Money. I do not see it much of a sacrifice if a person that brings in, say, $3 million a year net, has that reduced to $2.5 million net. Just have a hard time grasping the hardship of that scenario. The one-month vacation to France may get cut to two weeks. Maybe Junior will have to drive a Lexus to college instead of the Beemer.
But okay. Some think that to be class warfare. Some think that to be Un-American. Some think that to be penalizing those that succeeded.
It is a fiscal crisis, people! Time for sacrifice! The middle class has already taken it up the five-hole repeatedly. And the poor, well, they’re freekin’ poor. They’re not the answer, when the answer is money. You don’t ask a ballerina to play middle linebacker, don’t ask the poor for money.
So I have an alternative to forcing Rush Limbaugh to let go of more of his money that he will never spend. Here’s my proposal. One fell swoop, one law change, and this all goes away. Ready?
First off let me state this – I don’t smoke pot. This is not an entreaty so that I can personally enjoy burning tree. So spare me the ‘Suuuure Jer. Blaze on dude’ responses.
Legalizing marijuana will have a wonderful dual benefit. First off, the government can tax the shit out of it and it will still be cheaper than what the street rate is, which according to my, ahem, sources, is around 80 bucks for a quarter ounce. That’s $320 an ounce! More expensive than gold! I am not an agricultural expert, but I would assume that a pack of Jamaica’s finest, if legal could be produced at a cost in the range of North Carolina’s finest tobacco. Let’s say around $5 a pack. Sell a pack of 20 blunts for $50 and everyone is happy. Literally. Giggly happy, in fact, for the blazers out there.
The second benefit is a major cost savings. Prison construction, which in case you haven’t noticed, is about the only grown industry left in this country. There are tens of thousands of people incarcerated for the crime of scoring a lid. And for the life of me, and if anyone can elucidate please do, I do not see the societal benefit of this. How am I safer because some stoner that likes to get baked and watch Ren and Stimpy while gorging on Twinkies is caged up in some medium-security fortress? I don’t know about you, but I do not recall one single violent crime committed under the influence of crippy. It is, literally, a victimless crime.
So to recap, tax revenue goes up and public expenditures go down. Win-win.
Now here comes the outcry – what about the War on Drugs, you tree hugger!
News flash, gang. We lost that war a looooong time ago. Think of the billions that has been spent fighting that “war”. Now think how much harder it is to score illegal drugs. What’s that you say? It’s still as easy as texting your dealer to meet you behind the Circle K in ten minutes?
I rest my case. War on drugs: Drugs 100, Warriors zero. Scoreboard. Move on.
Okay, there actually is a downside that bears a few sentences. Inhaling toxic chemicals is a health risk. Odds are good that condoning a substance that is smoked will result in increased rates of cancer, emphysema, COPD and other physical issues. As such, we cannot in good conscience actually have such a substance being legal, can we?
Hold on. Let me ask the Marlboro Man or Joe Camel.
I know. Considering such a societal seismic shift is enough to make someone drink. Which, coincidentally, is another mind-altering substance that is perfectly legal to ingest. And if we are going to talk about how being under the influence of pot is such a bad thing, tell me how many times a man got baked then beat the hell out of his wife and kids? How many bar fights centered around who lost the roach clip?
Nope, alcohol has the monopoly of those activities. People drink, they can get violent. People smoke pot, and they forget whatever the hell they were mad about.
So let me end with this. Let’s be adults here. Spare me the moral lesson that some would advance to decry such legalization. Any Holy Rollers (or politicians) that would be against this, I say this: Let he without sin cast the first stone.
Mr. Marley said it best. Legalize it. Don’t criticize it.