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Leagalize Art + Photography

October 9, 2009

Untitled-1
The extent of my drawing skills.

As California surges toward marijuana legalization legislation for 2010, I find myself in the shower, shaking my head at this entire issue.

I have an idea.

Let’s legalize it. And here’s why.

We are spending incredible amounts of money to try and combat marijuana, and last time I checked, it doesn’t seem to be that difficult to find. Drive along the beach, any day of the year, especially via bicycle, and you realize it is alive and well.

In fact, I think it is probably easier to get today than ever before. Now with “medical clinics” being allowed to distribute, it’s even easier.

This issue has been debated far and wide, up and down, etc, so I’m not going to debate the standard stuff, such as health care costs, crime, etc.

My problem with the issue is not that I don’t trust those smoking marijuana, my problem is I don’t trust the Federal Government. Why? Well, they have a proven track record. And those smoking heaps of herb, well, they might not have done a whole lot yet.

Say that the evil bud is legalized, and every liquor store becomes a “mom and pop” outfit doling out reefer. (How come my mom and dad didnt’ run a liquor store?)

And say that there is a line out the door to buy weed. Say they are making serious cash from this biz. Now what?

Tax it. Simple as that.

But here is the kicker. Ten percent of the revenue has to be funneled back into our “government,” and here is where things get stickier than a sick, hydro-bud. The store owner gets to choose where the money goes.

You hear that? You hear that faint scream? That is the government sobbing in the background.

Okay, how about these outlets for pot tax revenue.

1-War

2-Health Care

3-Overpaying our congress

4-Education

5-Pork Barrel Projects

6-Art/Science (I’m lumping them together because while these groups share much common ground, they are also a good check and balance on one another.)

7-Law Enforcement

8-Environmental Agencies

9-Furthering the bureaucracy.

10-America’s Mission Overseas (Just made this up, an outreach program to alert the rest of the world what life in America is really like, and that Hollywood is not an accurate portrayal.)

I’m sick and tired of our country, and us, talking about issues like this, then doing nothing. We coin horrific catch phrases like “thinking outside the box,” and then do nothing but live in the same damn box.

Now I’m just guessing here, but I would imagine, based on what I know about liquor stores, that money distribution would be more toward the center than people would imagine. I think you would get the guy who says, “Up yours, I love bureaucracy,” and donate his ten percent.

I’m tired of the futility of saying, “We are gonna fight this thing,” because it just doesnt’ work. And just because the drug czar says it’s not in his vocabulary really doesn’t matter. Then let’s vote the guy out.

It makes no sense to me I can buy whiskey by the gallon, but not pot. I can buy smokes by the carton but not smoke.

We can give this stuff to cancer patients, who, sorry for being blunt, are in many cases not going to make it, and can admit the medical benefit to these people, but can’t admit people who aren’t sick might not benefit from it as well.

And, can you imagine the additional money that art, science, and yes our beloved photography might have??? But again, I just don’t trust the government, especially when I hear things like “troop surge.”

It’s naive to think war is not going to happen, it will and we will continually be involved, but at some point we must rethink our strategy, and I’m thinking the legalization of art and photography is a good place to start.

Oh, and for those of you who are drug dealers. Don’t worry. Your infrastructure is already in place. All you need is a storefront, and based on your current financial reserves, I would imagine you could land your storefront in Hollywood, make it invite only and charge whatever you want.

I think initially there would be a huge buzz surrounding these events, no pun intended, but after a while things would calm down.

If pot were legalized tomorrow, would I hop on my trusty bike and pedal over to buy some. No. But what I would do is begin to worry what our government is doing with the money.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. David Wissinger permalink
    October 9, 2009 6:17 pm

    You know, I’m a pretty conservative guy, and so I lean toward not legalizing marijuana. I never used it, it’s not on my radar screen one way or another, so I’m fine the way things are. Except that I agree with all your arguments. So legalize it already. But I DO have a major problem with the current reason that legalization is catching on: California Needs The Tax Revenue. C’mon, what a stupid reason to legalize something that has traditionally been illegal. What we need is a state (and federal) government that spends WAY less money. If money stays in the hands of the people who earn it they always find creative things to do with it, like hiring people, donating it and sponsoring photography projects. Just to name a few.

    • October 9, 2009 6:19 pm

      I’m the same, it’s not on my radar either. I just hate to see the same hardliners talking tough as massive amounts of money are being spent. Something has to change.

  2. Leigh permalink
    October 9, 2009 11:47 pm

    The reasons for a situation or problem are always way more complex than interested parties are wanting you to believe. Tax revenue is not the only reason for legalizing pot. One example is when they increased the penalties and sentencing for smaller and smaller amounts of possession the crowding in the prison system exploded. I could list more reasons but there is only so much room here.

    I wish it were true that if you let people keep more of their money they’ll do all sorts of good and altruistic things with it. I think the last 20 years begs to differ…..most Americans were living well beyond their means, and few had realistic retirement accounts.
    Not meaning to say that some American aren’t very generous spirited many are.
    As far as our government is concerned….those with the most money have the most power and influence. They get to decide how money is spent. This is true of both political parties. Let’s all get real and and get beyond our political parties and favorite news outlet’s taglines.

    I will leave you with this one thought….. Dan you started this. You [sorry I have no other word that will work here] shit stirrer you.

    • October 10, 2009 12:04 am

      ME? Stir things up? What? No way. I’m a pacifist. Good points. I agree our political system needs a recall, bailout and total do over.

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