Legalizing Cannabis, 1982-Style

The public-domain 1982 Report of theNational Task Force on Cannabis Regulation on the Regulation and Taxation of Cannabis Commerce is at Report of NTFCR 1982 (55MB — SLOW DOWNLOAD after next click). My friend Dick Evans, Massachusetts lawyer and cannabis activist, was Chair.  It seems quaint to him now, but it should not be lost to history.

It proposes a federal excise tax, based on THC content. And it starts by excerpting this quote, from FDR, speaking of alcohol Prohibition:

“We threw on the table as spoils to be gambled for by the enemies of society the revenue that our Government had theretofore received, and the underworld acquired unparalleled resources thereby. The multiplication of enforcement agencies created resentment and a cynical and complacent attitude toward lax enforcement resulting from connivance between such agencies and the law breakers. The general disregard for and defiance of such law of nationwide application bred disrespect for other law. The attempt to impose the practice of virtue by mandate of the fundamental law produced an attitude of intolerance to other forms of restraint and a denial even of the basis of authority. The violation of fundamental principles set in motion a chain of consequences that no one not politically blind could fail to see; and all the time a steady flow of profits, resulting from the exactions of a newly created industry, was running into the pockets of racketeers. The only business of the country that was not helping to support the Government was in a real sense being supported by the Government.”

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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