Taxing Pot To Death

This website has little use for Grover Norquist, the so-called “anti-tax” advocate whose group administers perhaps the most laughable pledge in American politics. (To read our evisceration of Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” click here). Our bottom line with guys like Norquist? If they would spend a little more time enforcing…

This website has little use for Grover Norquist, the so-called “anti-tax” advocate whose group administers perhaps the most laughable pledge in American politics.

(To read our evisceration of Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” click here).

Our bottom line with guys like Norquist? If they would spend a little more time enforcing their pledges and a little less time diluting them and creating ways for politicians to wiggle out of them … they (and their pledges) might have a bit more credibility.

Anyway …

Norquist and his accommodative organization are at it again – this time endorsing huge tax hikes on marijuana.

Taxing pot is “not a tax increase,” Norquist told National Journal.

“It’s legalizing an activity and having the traditional tax applied to it,” he said.

Okay … we get that. If marijuana is legalized and made available for sale (as growing numbers of Americans believe it should be) then it’s going to be taxed in some form or fashion. This website has no problem with a modest consumption-based tax (a.k.a. a “traditional” tax) on marijuana for the purpose of funding core functions of government.

But so far the contemplated taxation of marijuana in the few places it’s been legalized – Colorado and Washington – has been anything but “modest.”

According to Reason, Washington’s pot legalization referendum imposed a “25 percent excise tax at three levels: sales between producers and processors, between processors and retailers, and between retailers and consumers. That’s in addition to the standard state sales tax of 8.75 percent.”

Wow …

The result of all those tax layers? “Legal” pot could wind up costing three times as much as “illegal” pot.

Meanwhile in Colorado, Reason finds that proposed ballot measures up for a vote this fall would “authorize not only the 15 percent excise tax … but also a special sales tax of up to 15 percent. That’s on top of the standard state and local sales taxes, which in Denver total 8 percent.”

Oh … and on top of all that Denver is proposing another 15 percent tax at the local level.

Unbelievable …

If individuals want to grow marijuana on their own private property – and smoke it in a manner that doesn’t infringe on others people’s liberties – then they should be able to do so free from any government taxation. Meanwhile if they want to sell their pot to others, they shouldn’t be forced to pay anything beyond the regular state sales tax.

Decriminalizing pot is not enough … it needs to be taxed fairly, not taxed to death.

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Bud October 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Still cheaper than a criminal defense attorney.

Smirks October 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

Cheaper than holding thousands of inmates for nothing more than first time offenses of simple possession, too.

Smirks October 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Treat it like alcohol, tax it like alcohol. No driving under the influence, legal at the same age, pay similar taxes.

9" October 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

A pot DUI would be difficult to enforce,since it stays in your system so long.

Anon. October 24, 2013 at 10:43 pm

No, the eye test where your eyes follow the Officer’s pen as he moves it in front of your face detects impairment with alcohol or drugs.

9" October 25, 2013 at 12:47 am

wouldn’t hold up

Smirks October 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

There’s too many excuses that could be used with the pen thing. “Officer was overplaying what he saw.” “We can’t get a good look from the video evidence/there is no video evidence.” “The defendant was tired/had itchy eyes/the wind was blowing.” Everyone laughs at Ted Vick’s pebble excuse, but the sad part is, it is quite possible it will get him off the charges.

I think various field sobriety tests are good indicators if someone is under the influence of something, but even with alcohol, smelling like a brewery and failing every single field sobriety test doesn’t guarantee convictions. About the only thing that does is a breathalyzer.

Anon. October 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

The test holds up in court…It shows the eye twitchs as it moves following the pen, not if your eyes are bloodshot. I backs up the officers testomony, not the other way around.

9" October 27, 2013 at 5:17 am

Breathalyzers don’t work with marijuana.

HGN October 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

The horizontal gaze nystagmus (hgn), commonly known by people that don’t know what the fuck they are talking about as the “pen test,” does not detect impairment. The test can confirm the presence of alcohol in a person’s system. Nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eyes. Marijuana does NOT cause nystagmus. There are several things that can cause nystagmus, including alcohol. The results of the hgn test are only admissible to show alcohol in the test subject’s system, not to show impairment.

Frank Pytel October 25, 2013 at 3:10 am

No no no. That’s why theres some quantifiable number attached to the laws, but see my post to Sic.

God is no match for Smirks October 25, 2013 at 9:11 am

You’ve made the mistake of picking an argument with someone that knows everything.

euwe max October 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

How would you know if the impairment was from drugs, or political affiliation?

Any test that could accurately quantify alertness or reliable reflexes onto a common scale would disqualify Tea Party members from operating machinery of any kind.

Will Folks aka Sic October 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Smirks! We agree!

Frank Pytel October 25, 2013 at 6:43 am

I whole heartedly disagree with insufficient time to answer in full. Marriage is Legal. NSA is Legal. This is another area that is not in the Gubmints core function list. Should not be legal or illegal. If I want to eat a bear turd, the gubmint has no business telling me otherwise. Frack ’em.

Come on Mr.Folks. Time to decide which side of the fence your on. But your Danged Close to the right (Edit: Correct) side. Fence is wider than you think. :)

Have a Great Day!! Great Site. Thanks.

Frank Pytel

Arlen Cooper October 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

The state will tax too high and homegrown will be the norm.

Le Soap October 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Almost 8:20, which should be 4:20 somewhere. This buds for you, fellows!

Anon. October 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Is that Nikki Haley’s hand holding that sweet bud?

Frank Pytel October 25, 2013 at 6:45 am

Need another answer to the poll.

C: None of the Fracking Gubmints GAWD DANGED BIDNESS.

SCBlues October 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

And Frank – just what is it that you’re smoking?

Observant October 25, 2013 at 9:37 am

Prior to the passage of the current Federal Controlled Substances Act in 1971, pot WAS legal, but it was subject to a transfer tax of $100.00 per ounce for each transaction. Also, the Treasury Department required that each entity (person or business) that was part of the transaction to have a “Federal Tax Stamp” costing $100.00. The big problem was qualifying to buy the “Tax Stamp”. The process and the “game” of getting legal pot was very similar to getting the proper licenses and paying the proper tax for machine guns and silencers.

While “narcotics” were federally controlled originally in 1914 or so, marihuana wasn’t taxed to death until about 1934, and up until then was found in a number of sedative mixtures (usually liquids) which were occasionally prescribed. Chloral Hydrate was usually the “real” active ingredient, with pot playing almost no part in the treatment.

AnCap October 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

When will you guys take the leap and leave this “core functions of government” shit behind. We don’t need government for anything.

inb4 but what about the roads?!

euwe max October 26, 2013 at 12:29 am

People may want to pay for USP, known potency, known quality, inspected and regulated pot… if they do, we get their taxes. If they don’t, they should be able to grow their own, or harvest some from random ditches.

If only moonshine, methamphetamine hydrochloride, psilocybin, lsd, mdma, hops, tobacco, and the white poppy were treated the same way.

Beartrkkr October 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

You just pull over the guys driving 30 on the interstate eating Doritos and snickers bars


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