There’s always the argument that legalizing and taxing marijuana sales could create a stream of revenue that could supplant the current loss of revenue of charging and jailing people who have been caught using marijuana. This argument is great and all but it’s usually just thrown around as a thought experiment, or espoused by fat hippies who it’s just hard to take seriously.
However, imagine if someone made the argument when we were staring at enormous budget deficits and everywhere we look we see purse strings being cinched up and people scrambling for cash. Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat recently elected to the state legislature, announced that he was introducing a bill that would “tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol” in the state of California.
The important thing to remember is that federal law would still trump this bill. Even with current medical marijuana legislature the feds could still tear you a new asshole with a criminal charge. Still, it’s nice to see the legalization argument come up again from a more legitimate source.