Please legalize marijuana and tax the shit out of it.
This year, our budget shortfall is $19.5 billion.
We spend $1 billion each year on non-violent marijuana offenses, alone. Meanwhile, the estimated value of California’s marijuana is $14 billion each year. (In comparison, California’s vegetable revenue is $5.7 billion and grape revenue is $2.6 billion.)
We could tax the shit out of it at point of sale (sales tax). Also, drug growers and dealers already are making money off of this crop, but aren’t paying any income taxes, whether corporate or personal! The state could reap at least $1 billion (though probably even more, if we want to keep taxing) from legitimizing weed!
Come on, people. Californians, in general, are a-okay with the idea (if not the practice) of weed anyway. FREE MONEY. Please.
Right now, we’re planning to cut $750 per K12 student in funding (we already rank in the lowest 10% nationwide) and eliminating Cal Grants, which allow millions of truly needy students to attend college each year (I didn’t even qualify! you have to have damn little money!) altogether.
What’s more important? An outdated war on marijuana (which only was criminalized after it was publicly and systematically associated with Mexican farmers in the 1930s — that’s right, grandpa could smoke weed legally) or public education and making higher education just a little more affordable?
I can’t wait until we get some money from this huge cash crop. After all, California makes the best produce of any of the states! :)