Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Marijuana Tax Could Save California

Could marijuana tax help shore up California's finances?

Well! It sure would be better than things falling apart
Legislation to legalise marijuana sparks heated debate as state seeks to fill its revenue pot... A California state assemblyman from San Francisco has introduced legislation that would legalise and tax marijuana, a move he hopes will help shore up the state's dire finances.

The bill by San Francisco representative Tom Ammiano, would legalise the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana by people 21 and older. It would charge growers and wholesalers a $5,000 (£3,400) initial franchise fee and a $2,500 annual renewal fee, and would levy a $50 per ounce fee on retailers.

The law, which would make California the first state to legalise marijuana, would inject an estimated $13bn a year in revenue into California's empty coffers. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday signed a $130bn budget that raises sales and income taxes, and dramatically slashes spending. States across the country are facing massive revenue shortfalls, as income and real estate tax receipts fall and outlays for unemployment insurance and health coverage rise.

"It is simply nonsensical that California's largest agricultural industry is completely unregulated and untaxed," Marijuana Policy Project California policy director Aaron Smith said at a news conference announcing the bill. "With our state in an ongoing fiscal crisis — and no one believes the new budget is the end of California's financial woes — it's time to bring this major piece of our economy into the light of day." Read more... Guardian: Legalise Marijuana

Nature Seeks To Help California Survive Crisis