Why tax marijuana?

Seven reasons to tax cannabis:

  1. To Legalize.  That’s the deal – voters and elected officials insist on taxation. https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/opinion-theres-a-better-way-to-tax-legal-cannabis
  2. For revenue.  But that argument would apply equally well to an excise tax on socks or bicycles.  That argument is purely pragmatic; it’s not theory-based.
  3. To keep it away from Kids, who are notoriously price-sensitive (“pocket change” won’t be enough).
  4. SUD — To keep it away from Cannaholics (people with “Substance Use Disorder”).
  5. Driving (at least a perception problem).
  6. Jerry Brown’s argument: “I don’t know if everybody’s going to pot that that’s going to be a positive path forward.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/11/jerry-brown-no-fan-of-legalized-marijuana/.  This “Nation of Stoners” argument needs more analysis.  It seems like an opportunity cost for society, and seems extremely difficult to measure or estimate.  In some sense, though, maybe it’s like the quasi-quantifiable cost of alcohol-caused absenteeism.
  7. To reduce the risk of SUD for those who don’t have it yet.  That’s hardly quantifiable.

What else?




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