California is looking at a massive budget hole over the next year, but Ahnuld has an innovation up his sleeve. The Times reports that the Governator wants to study legalizing and taxing marijuana growth and sales in a bid to raise revenues. If I were looking at a $20 billion shortfall, I’d be doing more smoking and a lot less studying. That’s one of the myriad reasons I’d make a crap governor. Nevertheless, Cali could raise as much as $1.34 billion a year in revenues from the controversial move.
I say, go for it. North Carolina should follow suit, double time, and at least look at the issue. We know we’ve got a bumper crop going in RTP, let’s extrapolate. More money for farmers and more money for the state. Perhaps we could dedicate a portion of the revenue to sensible drug treatment options. I know it’s lots of laughs to send them all to prison, but it might be cheaper to actually treat substance abusers than to incarcerate them. We might even reap the advantage of honesty about Mary Jane and her alleged attendant evils. What if we could prove that pot isn’t always a gateway drug? What if we stopped lying to kids about how they’re going to end up on heroin if they take so much as a bong hit? Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? I like the idea of telling my boys that they’ll be able to try it for themselves when they reach the legal age. Then I can also tell them quite honestly about other, more harmful drugs, and strongly urge them to stay away from those, knowing that they might be listening because I haven’t lied yet. How refreshing!