That's the rallying cry of a group of West Coast cannabis
growers, and their raw numbers suggest it's time for us to pay
According to California law enforcers, seizures of the marijuana
crop in 2006 hit a record street value of $7 billion. But
experts say they probably got only a tenth of the crop. If that's
true, it puts the total value at $70 billion.
$70 billion in sales revenue...and the state doesn't get a cent!
Now comes an ad hoc committee of growers who propose
to regulate, control and tax the weed – virtually wiping out the
state's structural budget deficit.
Sales taxes alone would bring in $5.77 billion. And the
income taxes paid by newly taxable entrepreneurs should generate
another $7 billion or so for state and local coffers.
Nationally, the federal government's take might be as much
as $60 billion a year, and that's not counting the tens of billions
being wasted on marijuana prohibition.
Or should we keep sending this cash windfall to criminals
and their cartels?