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Rhode Island governor to call for legalization of recreational marijuana

JacksinPA

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https://thehill.com/homenews/state-...ls-for-legalization-of-recreational-marijuana

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) will call for legalized recreational marijuana in her 2019 budget proposal later this week.

Raimondo told the Providence Journal that her decision to move forward on the issue was made with “reluctance.”
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Stated reason: neighboring states are reaping the tax benefits of legal pot.
 

Felis Leo

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https://thehill.com/homenews/state-...ls-for-legalization-of-recreational-marijuana

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) will call for legalized recreational marijuana in her 2019 budget proposal later this week.

Raimondo told the Providence Journal that her decision to move forward on the issue was made with “reluctance.”
============================================
Stated reason: neighboring states are reaping the tax benefits of legal pot.

I consider the governor's reasoning utterly fatuous. These supposed tax benefits are overstated to the point of ridiculousness. We keep hearing the mantra of those who wish to legalize these drugs "Let's legalize it, tax it and regulate it." Those taxes and regulations only apply to those marijuana growers, distributors and sellers who actually submit themselves to the government's regulation. States such as California and Colorado that have legalized Marijuana have seen a spike in black market sales, both in their home states and exporting unregulated marijuana to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Why would anyone pay overtaxed marijuana from a licensed dealer when they can buy their pleasure cheaper from their old illegal (now decriminalized) drug dealer? The only way someone could make such a statement is either utter ignorance of the issue or baleful dishonesty.
 
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Ikari

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I consider the governor's reasoning utterly fatuous. States such as California and Colorado that have legalized Marijuana have seen a spike in black market sales, both in their home states and exporting unregulated marijuana to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Why would anyone pay overtaxed marijuana from a licensed dealer when they can buy their pleasure cheaper from their old illegal (now decriminalized) drug dealer? The only way someone could make such a statement is either utter ignorance of the issue or baleful dishonesty.

Lots of people buy from the stores. It's a lot less hassle that going through a dealer. The prices are pretty much on par with what one was paying a dealer from. It's legal. Support local businesses and growers. There's lots of reasons to just go to the store for this. And evidently, lots of people do because we make a lot of tax revenue off of it.
 

Mycroft

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I consider the governor's reasoning utterly fatuous. States such as California and Colorado that have legalized Marijuana have seen a spike in black market sales, both in their home states and exporting unregulated marijuana to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Why would anyone pay overtaxed marijuana from a licensed dealer when they can buy their pleasure cheaper from their old illegal (now decriminalized) drug dealer? The only way someone could make such a statement is either utter ignorance of the issue or baleful dishonesty.

Don't know about CA, but here in CO drug dealing is still against the law
 

Felis Leo

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Don't know about CA, but here in CO drug dealing is still against the law

Oh, most certainly. But how many people have been jailed for illegally distributing black market marijuana? Or purchasing illegally dealt marijuana? I do not imagine it is enough to dissuade people from continuing to purchase or distribute it.
 

Mycroft

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Oh, most certainly. But how many people have been jailed for illegally distributing black market marijuana? Or purchasing illegally dealt marijuana? I do not imagine it is enough to dissuade people from continuing to purchase or distribute it.

shrug...

I don't know. You should probably do some research so you know what you are talking about...at least, when you are talking about my state.
 

Mr Person

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I consider the governor's reasoning utterly fatuous. These supposed tax benefits are overstated to the point of ridiculousness. We keep hearing the mantra of those who wish to legalize these drugs "Let's legalize it, tax it and regulate it." Those taxes and regulations only apply to those marijuana growers, distributors and sellers who actually submit themselves to the government's regulation. States such as California and Colorado that have legalized Marijuana have seen a spike in black market sales, both in their home states and exporting unregulated marijuana to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Why would anyone pay overtaxed marijuana from a licensed dealer when they can buy their pleasure cheaper from their old illegal (now decriminalized) drug dealer? The only way someone could make such a statement is either utter ignorance of the issue or baleful dishonesty.

You know what you're getting from a store.

Stores also tend to sell a much wider variety of things, like all sorts of edibles, shatter hash, kief, etc. Dealers tend not to have anything like that inventory.

Further, it's not merely the tax benefits. It's the tax benefits PLUS the lack of all that spending on War on Drugs law enforcement PLUS the absence of socio-economic damage to the populace at large by way of War on Drugs law enforcement.

Also, post #3
 

TheParser

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1. It is great that people are no longer being thrown into prison for smoking that stuff.

a. I think that Texas used to sentence people to 1,000 years for smoking it.

2. And, above all, it should definitely be legal for medical reasons. If it can alleviate human pain, more power to it.


3. BUT I agree with people who feel that we should mount an educational campaign to persuade people (young and old) NOT to smoke it for recreation.

a. There seems to be some mounting evidence that it can adversely affect your health and sense of motivation.
b. The idea of people smoking that stuff while driving and working seems undesirable for many reasons.
 

Thoreau72

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I consider the governor's reasoning utterly fatuous. These supposed tax benefits are overstated to the point of ridiculousness. We keep hearing the mantra of those who wish to legalize these drugs "Let's legalize it, tax it and regulate it." Those taxes and regulations only apply to those marijuana growers, distributors and sellers who actually submit themselves to the government's regulation. States such as California and Colorado that have legalized Marijuana have seen a spike in black market sales, both in their home states and exporting unregulated marijuana to neighboring states where it is still illegal. Why would anyone pay overtaxed marijuana from a licensed dealer when they can buy their pleasure cheaper from their old illegal (now decriminalized) drug dealer? The only way someone could make such a statement is either utter ignorance of the issue or baleful dishonesty.

The tax revenues to the state are very real, and that's why the governor is going along with the plan.

This does not mean that Utopia will exist with legalized and taxed sales, it means only that the state will get revenue and that the criminal element will no longer control the market.

Remember that pot is different because any person can grow his own. Some people do not want to grow their own and would prefer to operate within the law.
 

WillyPete

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Oh, most certainly. But how many people have been jailed for illegally distributing black market marijuana? Or purchasing illegally dealt marijuana? I do not imagine it is enough to dissuade people from continuing to purchase or distribute it.

You have a point, in that I've read that over 90% of California storefronts don't have a license and may or may not be in tax compliance.

But that is more to do with high taxes and lax enforcement (a CA specialty) as well as political efforts to place control of the market into the hands of existing medical sellers, which might sound like a good idea at first blush, but was largely about focusing the profits upon the politically connected.

However, the saving in prosecutions for marijuana "crimes" and the slowly relaxing atmosphere on the subject (people generally still don't talk about getting high at work, whereas they'll shout to the rafters about how drunk they got) make it worthwhile.

Old school dealers will be around for a long time to come, but they largely can't compete on quality or variety. They will dwindle over time.

I'll also throw out there that we have see a significant reduction in tobacco smoking in the last couple decades without throwing anyone in jail over it. Maybe we should consider policies that actually work.

It's really just bad public policy to try to enforce an unenforceable law.
 

Lursa

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Washington expects to rake in about $730 million from sales of legalized marijuana over the next two years.

More than 60 percent of the state’s marijuana money over the next two years is slated to go toward public health programs, including Medicaid, substance abuse prevention efforts and community health centers, according to the state Office of Financial Management.

The remaining money that freely flows into the state general fund — about $211 million — adds up to about half of 1 percent of the state’s projected operating budget for 2017-19.

https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/marijuana/article130464479.html

And then there is more in the article about other proposals for the tax income in the future…mostly for schools.
 
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