Saturday, August 09, 2014

The promise of the pot initiative has gone up in smoke.

I opposed the legalization of pot.  I opposed the lies those supporting it told... the unbelievably wild revenue projections and how this pot legalization would fix everything.


First, as I pointed out, the initiative legalized nothing.  As I stated, repeatedly, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States makes it clear that states cannot overturn federal law:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Thus, claims to the contrary by Libertarians and that ilk continue to be utter nonsense.

Second, with all that money moving around, it was a matter of time until the Fed swooped in to get their cut.

And the "swooping" has begun.
A new tax snag that has hit marijuana stores could cause delays in new openings, higher product prices, and even closures of newly opened stores. 
It looks like stores — and by default their customers — will end up paying a federal tax on the excise tax that already goes to the state, something that many were unaware of until recently.
Stores pay a 25 percent excise tax on marijuana when they purchase it from a grower and another 25 percent excise tax when they sell the product to a customer. 
Those taxes go to the state as part of the I-502 legislation. 
Stores also pay a tax on their retail sales to the federal government. But excise taxes are usually exempt from that because it's essentially taxing a tax. 
The snag is that marijuana is illegal federally, so businesses can't write off that expense, said Randy Simmons, deputy director of the Liquor Control Board. 
"It's listed as a Schedule I substance (a drug with no medical use) federally, and usually stores can write off the costs of a good, but because of that they have to declare those costs as income," Simmons said. "That's a federal issue. That's not us. That's because of the classification." 
Just so.

Pot heads falsely believed that "legalization" would end all of the problems, lies by I-502 supporters notwithstanding.

My position has been that nothing could be further from the truth.

Costs in the pot retail outlets are astronomical compared to costs on the street.  And as high as those costs already are, adding the costs of the federal tax to the mix will make it absurdly expensive.

Add those costs, and typically all you'll see and hear in one of these places are crickets.

Thus, the law enforcement issue has shifted from one of possession, to one of revenue.

Possessing pot may not be illegal.  But selling it without a permit and without paying all of those taxes?

Welcome to prison.

Those shilling this idea of "legalization" claimed that it would end the "waste" of law enforcement's time while emptying out our prisons.


All this did was shift the emphasis in enforcement from possession and sale to sale alone.  And when government doesn't get their cut?

They're worse than the mafia.

I have been saying all along that the ONLY solution to this issue is to get the fed to legalize it.

And that isn't even a spec on their radar screen.

In the end, this will cripple the legal pot retailers.  On one hand, that's bad because they paid all that money and time in preparing their stores to meet the state requirements and the costs were not cheap.

582 million in new revenueOn the other hand, proponents of this initiative lied their collective asses off to get it passed... For example, this came right off their web page:

I knew that was a crock when I read it.

We are told, for example, that passage of this fiction would result in?

This absurd figure.

As an example, in the first 30 days of business, we're told that about $3.8 million worth of pot was sold.  The result was, allegedly, $1 million in revenue.

Through extrapolation, to meet the figure touted by the liars behind I-502, based on this revenue figure, it would require the sale of roughly $45 million worth of pot every week... to achieve the roughly $11.5 million per week required to total the absurd figure posted above this and to the left.

Don't you just hate being lied to?

And now, add to that figure the federal tax.  Guess what's going to happen to this fantasy state revenue as a result?

I have maintained all along that their is precisely and only ONE solution to this problem:  get the fed to legalize it.

And a bomber pilot like Obama, who uses the Constitution as toilet paper,  and who also has a "pen and a cell phone," shouldn't have any problem doing that... should he?  

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