St. Pierre steps down

We came from different directions. Allen St. Pierre, who is stepping down as head of NORML, the cannabis consumer lobby, wanted to legalize marijuana for consumers; I wanted to raise revenue from something whose externalities were less positive than, say, wages paid to workers, which we tax so widely now — while we say America’s … Continue reading “St. Pierre steps down”

Rockefeller, taxes, and alcohol in the early 1930s

Why did John D. Rockefeller, Jr., look for safe ways to deal with alcohol, and so commission the study, “Toward Liquor Control,” that recommended state monopoly sales? My view, which I tweeted, is: “Rockefeller liked but couldn’t maintain alcohol Prohibition; faced reality with retreat to state liquor stores.” My friend Kevin Sabet replied, “Actually, Rockefeller … Continue reading “Rockefeller, taxes, and alcohol in the early 1930s”

Whatever vice tax society wants

The cannabis industry, or some of it, wants taxes as low as possible. Consumers, at least some of them, display different interests. I asked my friend Allen St. Pierre, head of NORML, the lobby for cannabis consumers, about his view of taxation. (Congratulations to new parents Allen and his wife on the birth of their … Continue reading “Whatever vice tax society wants”

Regulatory Capture — 1933 vs. 2015 — Updated 18 October 2015

A friend says that private industries “may be able to build in regulatory capture from the first day of legalized marijuana” in some states, and asks if the alcohol industry had any “influence on how the newly legal alcohol industry would be regulated after Prohibition was repealed.” My impression is that regulatory capture didn’t happen so … Continue reading “Regulatory Capture — 1933 vs. 2015 — Updated 18 October 2015”

Rob MacCoun’s Stanford Law Class

Click to access SLS%20Marijuana%20Policy%20Practicum%20Report.pdf Lots on discussion of agencies.  One option is have someone like Pierre duPont did for Delaware right after Prohibition — a One-Person Commissioner, not a Commission.  And for putting that office on the ballot, with an extremely short term. On revenue, paraphrasing: The state could collect substantial revenues from selling and taxing … Continue reading “Rob MacCoun’s Stanford Law Class”

County tax irritates cities

Allen St. Pierre, head of NORML, writes: Perversely, this is too cool! State vs. Counties vs. Municipalities…over taxing legal cannabis commerce. As predicted many moons ago, once government goes from wasting taxpayer dollars propagandizing against cannabis to scrambling to ‘get their fair share’ of taxes derived from cannabis commerce, public advocates’ reform efforts will be … Continue reading “County tax irritates cities”

An analyst, not an advocate

I try to be a student of taxes, and have been studying taxes on cannabis.  I post material that I think relevant to taxation of cannabis, and what do you know?  Just about everything I come across that looks into the technicalities of that field comes from supporters of legalization.  Opponents of legalization aren’t paying attention … Continue reading “An analyst, not an advocate”

Another questionable marijuana tax idea

$5 per package of rolling papers.  That’s the idea in a Maine bill. With papers selling for $2 or $3 now, the responses are easy to predict: — Smokers will use pipes. — Consumers will buy papers in bulk out of state and share them with friends. — Suppliers will sell enormous “packages” to dilute the … Continue reading “Another questionable marijuana tax idea”

Are high sumptuary and sin taxes liberal or conservative — or both?

Allen St. Pierre of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, speaking of successful initiatives to legalize marijuana, says, “We found both a liberal approach, in Colorado, and a conservative approach, in Washington.  We found two paths that work.” Colorado’s approach is less restrictive on driving and home growing than Washington’s, but … Continue reading “Are high sumptuary and sin taxes liberal or conservative — or both?”