Friday, July 03, 2015

$70 million in Pot Tax? Big Deal. From the "I told you so" on pot "legalization" file.

The pro-potters lied their collective asses off about revenue on pot.  They promised $582 million per year in state revenue.  You all remember that, don't you?

Well, they were clearly a little off.

Actually, they were clearly a lot off.

At this point, just under $1.5 billion off.  And this year is no exception with a $512 million shortfall passed on the pro-pot promises.

And, of course, the state legislature did absolutely nothing to hold those who lied accountable for their actions.

Beyond the cash, those who support yet another way of getting baked will not be dissuaded.

I have yet to read or hear from any pot head who allows for or believes that pot has ANY negative side effects.

I, of course, take a different view.  People are dead today from the results of using legal pot who would otherwise likely be alive.

And that's a fairly negative side effect.

But those who either want to make big bucks off this scam, or those who want to get wasted every day, all day; or those who see smoking this... or anything else... as a cure for every ill known to man, continue to propagate the wive's tales concerning what this substance will and will not do... science and outcomes notwithstanding.

Which brings me to the wonders of "legalization."

I put "legalization" within quotes because it's not legal.  The statewide campaign of outright lies that made it "legal" actually failed to accomplish that end.

Pot is illegal at the FEDERAL level and thus, it remains illegal at the state level, constitutionally, due to the preemption clause.

Proponents of this idiocy, including our local abysmal excuse of a daily newspaper, shilled it based on fantasy revenue predictions, as if the entire black market and other sources of this waste of money would simply disappear.

The moronically wrote at the time:
The Columbian endorses Initiative 502 for many reasons, not the least of which is financial. I-502 offers Washingtonians the chance to radically change how we react to marijuana, from wasting $211 million over the past decade enforcing marijuana laws, to creating a revenue stream of more than $500 million annually via a 25 percent excise tax (plus other taxes) on legal marijuana sales.
I called them on that lie at the time, but you know how it is.

The rag also bought into the pot head's positions on enforcement, as if no more money would be spent, slavishly publishing the fantasy numbers of a completely unbiased source on this matter as if they were, well, accurate.  But then, the democratian only publishes information, regardless of it's source, that supports their perspectives.  But THESE clowns?
Turning the financial squandering of the war against marijuana into a revenue source for our state would have significant impact on Clark County. According to a study by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (which provided the $211 million figure above), various entities in Clark County spent about $10 million enforcing marijuana laws from 2000-2010. Included were $2.8 million in defense costs and $2.7 million in prosecution costs. 
By contrast, the projected half-billion dollars in annual state tax revenue would go mostly to health care ($244 million), the general fund ($182 million) and youth drug prevention programs ($68 million).
I remember when the democratian was shilling the ballpark scam and they wasted all that ink spewing the results of a bought and paid-for CRUDEC economic study that "proved" building that ripoff of a stadium would generate $200 MILLION in economic activity.

All of which goes to show that figures don't lie... but liars DO figure.

They also talked about the insane idea that "legalizing" pot would empty out our prisons.

As for me, I fall under the "if you have to lie to get your candidate elected, your project built on government money or your initiative/referendum passed... then you shouldn't BE elected, your project shouldn't BE built and your initiative/referendum shouldn't BE passed.

Lying makes a great campaign.  But liars should never be rewarded with success.

To the point, then:

The revenue projections would have required every man, woman and child in this state to consume enough pot to generate something on the order of $75 per year in pot revenue.... each.
582 million in new revenue
The lie concerning pot revenue used by the
I-502 campaign and bought by the democratian, 

The campaign promised $582 million "every year."

This year, the number will be 10% of that promised.  By the end of this year, the pot campaign, based on this fallacious promise, will owe the people of this state in excess of $1.7 billion in revenue.

Unfortunately, the GOP Senate, caving to pressure from the various millionaires behind this scam, have let them completely off the hook, serving to reinforce the idea that the best way to scam the people of this state is to make Goebbels-like propaganda lies the cornerstone of your campaign knowing that they can come along behind themselves, spend a few bucks in the legislature, and get completely off the hook for what amounts to an outright, state-sanctioned swindle.

How many times have the pro-potters told us that among the many other wonderful impacts of this idiocy, is the idea that it would empty our jails because they would like us all to believe that those prisons are jammed with 19 year-olds doing life for possessing a joint, and that with the end of enforcement, our police agencies could go forth and bust the REAL bad guys.

My position in all of this was simple: "legalization" (besides the obvious: it legalized nothing) would not end enforcement of the law.  It would merely shift it from the possession and sales side to the sales and revenue side.

That those selling pot would continue to do so, particularly since they could undercut the crap out of retail establishment who now had to pay taxes and overhead that street dealers did not have to pay... and the various people with their hands out would get nothing from those sales.

Enforcement NOW would focus on the revenue side.  And so it does:
Owner arrested in raid of Vancouver pot business
He's suspected of running illegal retail marijuana store, related felonies
By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter
Under the blazing sun, uniformed and plain-clothed officers spent several hours Thursday carting off marijuana plants, money and equipment to grow the drug from a business on St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver. 
The scene may look like a mistake — the business, Grow Systems Northwest, deals with marijuana, a legal commodity in Washington state. 
But while it may appear legitimate, law enforcement says it isn't licensed as a retailer and it doesn't operate within the confines of state medical marijuana laws. So, police say, the business is making illegal broad-daylight drug deals to the tune of at least $200,000 untaxed dollars a month. 
The owner of the business, who said he was "embracing" a loophole but not breaking the law, was taken into custody on suspicion of multiple felonies. 
An illegal business, police say.
Grow Systems Northwest, 6502 N.E. St. Johns Road, fell under the eye of the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force in mid-April when a Vancouver police officer responded to the business for a report of a stolen recreational vehicle. 
The owner, Adam Alexander, gave the officer a tour, said Vancouver police Sgt. Pat Moore, the lead drug detective on the case. Alexander told the officer that he was selling marijuana from his house but that his business became too big so he moved it to the space on St. Johns Boulevard, Moore said. 
The officer alerted the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force, and Moore began looking into it. 
On its website, the company says it offers medical marijuana delivery and marijuana delivery. "We have been serving the Clark County area for many years now and would love to have you as one of our regulars!" the website reads.
There's more, but you get the drift.

Pot sales were illegal before this initiative passed. They remain illegal outside the licensed retail environment.

Now the retailers and the state have law enforcement working for them.

Exactly the way I said they would.

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