10 Reasons to Tax, Regulate & Control Marijuana.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 6, 2012
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“It should be legalized and taxed. Taxed. Yeah, ‘Gimme a pack of marijuana!’ But this other stuff is poison; acid’s poison, speed is poison, STP is poison, it’s all poison. But grass is nothing.” ~ Jack Kerouac



Holy Smoke? Kind Religion?

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Pot. It’s all about peace (good), and zoning out (not so good). In any case, it’s far chillller and less aggression-or-accident-inducing than alcohol or drugs, and the production of it isn’t effing up the entire nation of Mexico, etc.

Even Sarah Palin thinks our police force’s precious time would be better spent enforcing laws that matter.

So here’s 10 Reasons off the top of my head (with a little help from my friends, and Reddit) to control Marijuana, instead of treating it as illegal and fighting a fight we can’t, and shouldn’t win.

1) Less taxpayer money used to house non violent drug arrests.

2) More room in prisons for actually dangerous criminals. Prisons are expensive, and w

…would also indirectly help combat the virulent spread of HIV, since half of all drug arrests are marijuana-related and the War on Drugs has created a massive prison system which accelerates “the spread of the HIV pandemic by driving drug users underground, and away from healthcare, and into high risk environments like prison.”

3) The state makes money to help fund…anything. Healthcare, education, police, fire.

4) Regulated drugs means no more kids getting paid to sell on the corner since people can get it at any store, as they would liquor or cigarettes.

5) The countries that do this haven’t had negatives come about from it. They have fewer people using and more money to use for public programs.

6) affordable medication for a variety of illnesses, with reduced negative side effects and addictive properties.

7) Hemp can be used for almost everything trees are used for on a much smaller plot of land and will grow back in half the time once harvested.

“I eat a hemp cereal and drink hemp in my shakes for essential amino acids, and omega 3. I even got my extremely republican parents to eat the hemp and they love it!”

8. It’s less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. And, unlike either, it isn’t physically addictive at all. So let’s treat it like them.

9. The War on Drugs is expensive. It isn’t working.

10. What’s one more reason to legalize marijuana and hemp? Any good reasons not to do so, please share those, too.

Bonus: 10 Pot Posters.

Bonus: A Brief History of Weed (awesome video).


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


21 Responses to “10 Reasons to Tax, Regulate & Control Marijuana.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Some great comments via my friends:

    B Martin: Income to state coffers? Less dollars being spent on incarceration of people prosecuted for small amounts? Tourism draw to places that have it legalized, resulting in more dollars for local businesses and the states? Sustainable crop? More peaceful public? There's 5, you're welcome.

    Jeff S
    Alcohol is legal due to political and social acceptance. Political parties that draw campaign funds serve booze, although it kills more than Marijuana ever did if it was legalized. Added bonus, It would really curb the transnational criminal organization crimes in Mexico if we legalized it. It's like gay marriage, it's coming whether you want it or not.

    Adam D I bet taxes from marijuana sales, if so directed, could cover healthcare for low income families, or at least heavily subsidize. Which would be perfect since MJ is a kind of healthcare for many anyway.

    Jennifer C http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680299/how-california
    How California Ganjapreneurs Are Laying The Groundwork For A New Green Economy http://www.fastcoexist.com
    Forget stimulus packages, millionaire tax breaks or any of the other standard at
    tempts to conquer our financial troubles. The path to solvency lies in a pungent herbaceous plant, says Doug Fine, author of Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Revolution, published on August 2nd. The 42-year-o…

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Speaking of addictive…if yer on Reddit, like I am: http://www.reddit.com/r/trees/comments/xsus8/10_r

  3. Troy says:

    This could have been an intelligent argument, if the headline didn't recommend giving "control" of yet something else to the government… who wrote that, a two year old, or someone who knows NOTHING of America and our government?!

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Chillll, dude. It's important for those who might otherwise think of pot as a dangerous, illicit drug to realize that regulating it actually makes it safer. While it's illegal, we actually have less control over how it's sold, who's doing the selling, and where, and how much.

    Legalizing it makes it safer. But we don't need to just speak to the choir—we need to find ways to make this argument accessible to, say, Republicans. That video, and that word "control"—both do so very well.

    Sorry you didn't see that, at least initially—and sorry you felt the need to get ALL CAPS on my ass.

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Nicole: heck yes

    Lauren L I would NEVER smoke weed that came from Marlboro. Ughh!

    Linda S Thank you…and how about the pain-reducing properties for those with chronic and debilitating illnesses (and a great help for those on chemo!). It's only logical if people would just open their minds!

    Janet Auty-Carlisle ‎Richard Branson Check this out! Please!

    Jacinda M straight marijuana, nothing added nothing taken.

    Ceridwen C ‎Felicity

    Faith H i don't smoke pot but really it would be better to just decriminalize it and not have it go commercial…. and sell it like any other crop or produce….I'm leery of the tax regulation and government control… how well did that work for the tobacco industry and its initial marketing practices and additions of chemical additives

    Elizabeth G This would be great except I'd be concerned Marlboro would add all kinds of crap to these that would make them just as toxic as cigarettes.

    Beth M Cool.

    Ingunn W I don't smoke at all. Never have, never will.

    Troy A. Well, I don't agree with the posters personal preference, but at least they know what time it is! 🙂 I also would disagree with the video headline that suggests "control." Hasn't ANYONE learned anything about government control yet? Government needs to be under OUR control – as it was designed, and it needs to be about 20% of its current size… its obese just like America! Last damn thing we need is another control mechanism for the vermin we elect to ignore our welfare.

    Melody P Why the filter? That doesn't make sense.

    Laura V Just do it already, it would bring in a lot of money to the country.

    Kevin F grpw up^ America..

    Los G ahh smoke some of that good toxic organic insecticide THC and watch American productivity fall further..good stuff that MJ..no healthy human requires recreational drugs ..you use it your a drag to the culture and the economy ..

    Maegan M yay medical marijuana is going to help so many ppl!

    Mike M anyone wonder about outsourcing??would you hire an American that smokes crackers and thinks its something good and needed?

    Mike M medical marijuana ..magically a cure after 5000 years of civilization and knowledge of the cancers and disease marijuana causes.

    Joe H I resist this because the smell of smoking it makes me just as ill as the smell of cigarettes. I would not like to live in a world where everyone is able to just light up outside when they feel like it.

    Kevin F ‎..and alchol & tobbacco's effect's on society Los Mcmanus?

    Mike M relevance you Honour?..Marijuana is on trial..we need nt say add one more evill makes the others less evil

    elephantjournal.com Troy, see my comment on the blog about "control." This is beyond-the-choir talk, not choir talk.

    elephantjournal.com Los, I also link to articles about why folks might not want to smoke. I don't like to. I don't love cilantro, either. I see little reason to make things I don't love illegal, however.

  6. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Right on, Troy! And also E.J., I mean Troy could chill just a bit. But he is right.

    Also, only a few allusions to the biggest problem of illegal drugs: the American Gulag, i.e. the incarceration of millions of mostly minority males for victimless crime. And even fewer allusions to the second biggest problem: the criminalization and resulting de-civilization of Black and Latino neighborhoods.

    And you might want to rethink Points Three and Five if you are trying to convince Republicans. Instead of using proceeds from govt. control to support govt. programs, how about using it to pay down the debt. I mean, this article suggests funding “anything. Healthcare, education, police, fire.” But the biggest threat to all those things is debt-induced financial collapse. I mean, if finances “go to pot,” we’ll become Greece and all our fine programs will be nothing but ink on paper. So how about using proceeds to pay down the debt? You’d have a better chance of getting Reps behind you.

  7. @Chen_Dogg says:

    Studies studies studies… Here's 1! A quiet revolution…

  8. Padma Kadag says:

    Waylon…"As a Buddhist…." (yawn, for all of you out there rolling your eyes)…How does marijuana figure into your ethos and your obvious pro-active stance to get it legalized?

  9. Mr. Science says:

    Well I am for legalization. . . of just about everything.
    However, pro pot folks need to stop using the argument that it is not physically addictive. This simply is not true.
    What actually happens is this; due to the fact that THC is stored in fat cells for so long, and very gradually leaves the body, one experiences a symptomless withdrawal.
    This may seem like a minor point, but it is important to be accurate.
    Also, another old argument that needs to go away, though you did not state it explicitly, is the "you can create four times as much paper from an acre of hemp than from an acre of trees"
    This was true at one point, but tree farming has changed, and with the development of the short cycle poplar the ration is roughly one to one.
    This does not take away from the relative benefits of legal hemp, but using outdated and inaccurate arguments weakens the overall case.
    All that said, I don't think smoking pot is good for most folks, have kind of developed a hatred for the stuff myself, but that is neither here nor there.

  10. Mr. Science says:

    I meant ratio

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Well, Padma, less than 40% of elephant readers are regular readers and commenters such as yourself, and Buddhism is my reference point, it's my path, so it comes up. Would you it otherwise?

    I've written an article here previously about Buddhism and pot.

  12. Padma Kadag says:

    Waylon…I think you would agree that right and wrong answers do not necessarily dictate right path and conduct as per Buddhist precepts particularly in the vajrayana. I would not go so far as to say anything goes but I will say that each of us have our own decisions to make regarding our conduct…though in many ways conduct in Buddhism is spelled out quite clearly. Really I wanted to hear how your “reference point” in regard to the actual inhaling of smoke stood up in Buddhist, particularly mantrayana or vajrayana, conduct and effect on one’s subtle body. This is something you may want to consider, particularly the effect on the subtle body.

  13. guest says:

    lol, because the American Government is so not controlling. keep dreaming. They just found a better way of control: fear, secrecy and riling people against each other. and you are worried about drug-control?

  14. guest says:

    hemp and marijuana is not the same.the hemp you buy (as shirts or food sublements) has almost no THC (if any). It's grown that way. Not sure why hemp and pot are in the same category.

  15. Mr.Science says:

    Because it is the same plant. Grown differently, but the same plant. Plus it has been treated the same for seventy-some years by the Gov.
    You could argue that hemp for building products, paper, fabric, etc. are all different too, since they all require different processes, but that would be silly

  16. Hey Waylon! Chicago just implemented the possession of small amounts of marijuana — forget exactly what constitutes this — as a ticketable offense b/c our jails are so overcrowded. Progressive step, I say. They just ticketed the first peeps over last weekend at Lollapalooza. I am curious to see how this progresses.

  17. thebabarazzi says:

    we just wrote a brilliant response to your ill considered rant http://thebabarazzi.com/2012/08/21/an-aside-a-res

  18. guest says:

    Hemp has a lot of other benefits: Smoking marijuana elevates M/S if memory serves me right. also raw hemp has great health benefits. Used as clothing hemp has a unparaleled money/fabric/growth-time ratio.
    The down side of frequent use of pot is some level of paranoia… is this familiar to you? So just like alcohol it should be used in moderation, yes?

  19. guest says:

    Yes, moderation's important in all aspects of life, however I use THC frequently and do not experience paranoia.

  20. Paul says:

    Yea, tax, regulate and control marijuana to make it safe. Just like is done with food.