For years now, medical pot has been a scam for recreational users to get wasted... well... recreationally.
That may soon end.
I-502 has been a disaster. Those supporting it did so, in part, using the lie that it would solve all of our revenue problems, promising an impossible $582 million per year for the budget, not that such a relatively small amount would make any appreciable difference even if it had been something besides a complete fantasy and actually materialized.
This year, 2015, the amount actually recovered in revenue will be lucky to hit 10% of the promised figure.
There are a variety of reasons for that, of course, the deliberate lies aside.
First, is the fact that to have actually been realized, it would have required that each man, woman and child in this state buy enough pot to generate roughly $81 each per year.
Second, because of the requirements for state and federal taxes, the costs of pot in the retail environment exceed that of the black market variety by 2 to 3 times. In short, for those who've bought pot at the much cheaper price for so long illegally on the black market, why would they suddenly stop and enjoy the privilege of legalization since that privilege also means spending 3 times as much for the product?
Third, because of the medical pot scam.
Medical pot has always been a scam, a way around the restrictions of recreational use.
Think up a reason to get it, go get a medical card signed (If they even ask for it) and then just blow off the taxes and by it from a tax-exempt medical pot dispensary.
Nothing to it.
For recreational users (And face it, most pot used is used for recreational purposes, medical scams notwithstanding) they don't want to be a part of the group included in the "legalize it, tax the hell out of it and it will solve all of the budget problems" group.
They don't care: they want what they want as cheaply as possible... campaign promises notwithstanding.
And that's where this bill comes in as I understand it.
The key part of the bill according to the Times, is this:
A bill being filed this week by Sen. Ann Rivers would create licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries and require product testing that's at least as strict as what the state requires in its recreational marijuana stores. But the medical stores could only sell edibles and marijuana concentrates, such as oil -- no dried bud. The products would be sales-tax-free.
"Recognizing the health concerns relating to smoking marijuana, the legislature intends to prohibit the sale of products that must be smoked at medical marijuana retail outlets," says a draft of the measure provided to The Associated Press.Putting anything into one's lungs that isn't air likely results in some form of damage. To suggest otherwise is certainly counter-intuitive, but pot heads are reacting with anger because, in large part, they don't care what they damage as long as they can get baked.
That's the whole point of this exercise: getting wasted. Damage be damned, negative impacts be damned.
Meanwhile, Rivers bill would require smokeable pot to be bought... and taxed... like recreational pot.
Voters approved the medical use of marijuana -- although not its commercial sale -- in 1998, and in the last few years, the number of legally questionable medical marijuana dispensaries has skyrocketed. Officials worry they're undermining sales at the state's heavily taxed, recreational pot stores.Why should they worry about that? After all, none of these poor, "deserving" medical pot patients would ever remotely even THINK about gaming the system.... would they?
In the end, the entirety of the pot "legalization" effort is a scam.
The people were lied to. Local media, who should have known better if I did (And I did) went along with the scam because now when they write like they're on drugs. they have a real excuse. They voted it in. And it's been a disaster.
It will be fascinating to watch this play out. But remember: I-502 in reality legalized nothing as long as recreational pot is illegal at the federal level.
And they can drop the hammer any time they want.