Yet another reason banning marijuana instead of regulating and taxing it is completely idiotic.
Yesterday Warren Buffett made news for backing out of massive credit default swaps in a 5-year long bet he’d held that states would continue paying their debt. That Buffett stopped backing this insurance led many to believe he sees risks that states and municipalities will go bankrupt and start defaulting on their debts. California, in particular, is one of the most indebted, struggling to balance tax revenue against its huge debt.
Which makes it especially asinine that the DEA has destroyed more than $1 billion worth of marijuana, concluding a two-month operation that saw 80% of this haul pulled from California.
Marijuana was also dug up from Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, in the billion-plus dollar haul.
California’s current budget deficit is just north of $15 billion dollars. It was only $9 billion just last January. This is clearly a state that could use the tax revenue from $1 billion dollars worth of marijuana—not to mention the huge savings in the prison system and state bureaucracy that would come with decriminalization. The combination of the two might put a serious dent in California’s formidable deficit.
But, no, the Obama administration’s war on marijuana and the DEA’s overreaching past state laws must continue. For what? What purpose does it serve? Fully 50% of America now supports decriminalization, and 61% support it in Colorado, a predictably blue state with a legalization measure on the ballot for November. If the administration were really smart, they would start campaigning for legalization on economic grounds. The blue states would support it, so it wouldn’t really cost him any votes, and Obama would be bringing a multi-billion dollar revenue stream to the table that Republicans wouldn’t go near in a time when the country desperately needs new revenue.
The administration’s war on weed isn’t only outdated and irrelevant, it’s downright wasteful.