Legalization of gay marriage didn’t go over very well in the Golden State but come November, my fellow Californians and I will be deciding whether or not we’re up for taxing the hell out of the chronic to save our state’s sad fiscal sitch with an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue a year by making marijuana possession legal. According to the bill, an ounce would bring in $50 in revenue .
Now, we’re not promoting huge grow rooms in grandma’s Pomona basement but the law would allow an ounce for personal use (some of you might question that amount as a tad large) and for anyone over the age of 21 to have 25 square feet of plants growing in their residence.
As is, California is pretty loose with the definition of “medical use” and if you’ve ever been to Venice Beach, you already know that pot has been a big business round these parts since Proposition 215 made medicinal use legal. Everyone from depressed shlubs to Mr Magoo-sighted grandmas can head to the cannabis club for their medicine and some smart cities like Oakland already tax these sales.
Some of you may not realize this but pot is essentially legal in San Francisco anyway. I’ve never heard of cops asking for a prescription if you get busted toking on a blunt in the FiDi (hey, work is stressful) and the rumor is that the SFPD has actually made it an unofficial policy not to hassle pot smokers as long as that’s all they’re doing.
So if you’re smoking a joint on the street, you’re fine. If you’re smoking a joint AND killing someone or smoking a joint AND not wearing pants, you might have some trouble but for the most part, you can trot around town puffing away without having to worry about getting hassled. Of course, driving under the influence is still illegal so I would not recommend puffing away from behind the wheel, no matter how lax the locals are towards the green stuff.
The state seems divided equally on the issue, with the LA Times reporting that a recent poll left the state split 49/41, with 49% in favor of the legislation. Listen, if it’s between legal weed and paying $989 to register my car, I’ll take the weed tyvm.
So? Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and if you don’t got ‘em, feel free to tax ‘em. Get used to the sin taxes, it might be the only way to bring my fine state (and others in equally dismal fiscal situations) back from the brink of financial Armageddon. And if that doesn’t work, at least we’ll be too high to notice.