Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Pot Policy

I support the legalization of marijuana for a myriad of reasons - I believe it should be a regulated substance very much like alcohol or tobacco - graded, taxed, and readily available at your corner gas station - and like home brewing (beer/wine) laws across the US, which allow the hobbyist to produce tax-free quantities for personal consumption (ex. 200 gallons of beer annually), allow a permissible number of plants to be grown for personal use.

So, I was thrilled today when I heard several NPR news stories reporting the change of federal policy on marijuana. I think this is a great first step on the way to ending pot prohibition.
"The official word has come down from the Obama administration. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Justice Department won't prosecute marijuana clinics, which are operating legally in California and a dozen other states. This is a big change in terms of federal policy."
"Given the limited resources that we have, our focus will be on people & organizations that are cultivating substantial amounts of marijuana in a way that's inconsistent with federal and state law," the attorney general said.
There's also a huge economic spin-off from this new policy = it
could lead to the drug becoming a regular source of tax revenue in states where it's legal. Analysts predict this could result in millions for state coffers. Medical marijuana clubs, without the threat of federal prosecution, may finally open the books and give economists, which could only speculate up until now, a better idea of just how much the pot industry is worth.
Thirteen states have laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana. California is unique among them for the presence of dispensaries, which are businesses that sell marijuana and even advertise their services. Legal under California law, such dispensaries are still illegal under federal law.

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