Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saving The Economy: Petroleum or Pot?

It was with more than a just a little amusement that I read the recent article, “A budget cure: Marijuana taxes?” which makes the claim,

“In this desperate economy, some argue that legalizing and taxing marijuana could plug multibillion-dollar holes in federal and state coffers.”

Potheads have for decades been using every angle they can to gain legalization for their habit, but this is a new one, to me.

According to California “medicinal marijuana” retailer, Daniel Stein,
“Cannabis is good for the economy. It’s been here the whole time, but it’s had a bad rap the entire time.”

There are many arguments on pot, both pro and con, with both sides putting forth legitimate views. But, could it really be an “economic boon?” Especially when at the same time, smoking tobacco, a legal product, is being demonized and undergoing restrictive bans on its use?

The article makes the claim that the
“American marijuana trade is $113 billion annually” and “the federal government and the states were losing almost $42 billion a year by keeping marijuana illegal.”

No argument from me on the amount of money flowing from pot sales, we all know it is a highly profitable trade. But, do you honestly believe the average pothead would be willing to give up growing their own or buying it on the street corner in order to pay higher prices to increase treasury receipts by taxing it?

As everyone knows, tobacco was just hit with outrageous tax increases, supposedly to fund children’s health care. The unexpected consequence of receiving those funds is how many smokers will quit, decreasing the amount of funding for the programs. Anti-smoking groups know this and boast they will force smokers to quit with high taxes, defeating the announced reason for such massive increases in taxes.

Why would it be any different for marijuana? Should it be legalized, why shouldn’t it carry similar high taxes as does tobacco and even alcohol? Why would potheads be willing to pay outrageous taxes when they can grow their own or continue buying it off the black market?

I have little doubt that states would crack down on growers and black marketers, negating any savings on decreased law enforcement and possibly having the same affect, decreased use of marijuana by current potheads.

Jon Gettman, a senior fellow at George Mason University's School of Public Policy claims,
“federal and state treasuries would gain more than $6 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like alcohol or tobacco” and estimating another savings of “$8 billion in legal costs.”

While legalizing pot and taxing it looks good on paper, I imagine the reality of it is entirely different when looked at as a “budget cure.”

I remain astonished that while we look to creating new taxes by legalizing marijuana, we completely ignore a ready resource that would not only increase tax receipts measurably, but create a multitude of additional jobs, unlike legalizing marijuana, and without any tax increases.

A recent study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute found that removing the bars on drilling and refining our own known pools of petroleum
“could generate more than $1.7 trillion in government revenue, create thousands of new jobs and enhance the nation’s energy security by significantly boosting domestic production.”

That is $1,700,000,000,000 compared to $6,000,000,000. And, with the added benefit of putting people back to work in good paying jobs drilling, researching, refining, constructing refineries, drilling platforms and several other collateral job increases associated with creating our own energy.

API President and CEO Jack N. Gerard said,
“This study underscores how the oil and natural gas industry can enhance America’s energy security and help solve our economic problems by increasing production of our nation’s vast oil and natural gas resources. The U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports more than six million jobs, and more drilling for oil and natural gas will mean more energy for America, more well-paying jobs, and trillions of dollars of much-needed revenues that will help federal, state and local governments pay for critical services.”

Ask yourself; just how many high-paying jobs do you think legalizing marijuana and taxing it would create? Maybe a handful? Compare that to estimates of millions of good paying jobs, jobs that each would be paying the current level of taxes that the Treasury doesn’t receive right now because of high unemployment.

We also have the added benefit of decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, which legalizing and taxing pot does not contribute to at all.

API also commissioned a poll by Harris Interactive and discovered that
“61 percent of Americans who voted in the 2008 presidential election support access to offshore oil and natural gas resources. Only 26 percent of those polled opposed exploration and development of those resources.”

A “pro-pot” site proclaims poll numbers as high as 44% approve of legalizing pot and 52% opposed.

Yet, our media especially appears more favorable to legalizing pot then drilling our own petroleum, while Obama admits “Legalizing pot won’t grow the economy.”

Ironically, his administration put the blinders on and seem inclined to reinstate the ban on offshore drilling.

While I am not totally against legalizing marijuana and taxing it and can even admit it might help a little, putting the joint down and drilling our own known sources of petroleum and even discovering new sources, will go a lot further in helping the nation than passing around a legal doobie.

We also have the potential of more incapacitated drivers should we legalize pot, a consequence that drilling our own petroleum does not carry.

To me, it is just common sense to drill and use our own resources to help the economy long before we consider legalizing marijuana in hopes of helping the economy.

As Alfonso of Machosauce Productions says in his video, RINO's and Eggrolls, “all the countries the liberals want us to imitate drill their own oil.” So, why don’t we, America?

I urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives and even the White House and demand they lift the bans on drilling our own petroleum. If you don’t know how to contact them, just enter your zip code at and you will be linked to their email addresses.

You can join in the fight for economic freedom and energy independence by placing this widget on your own blog or home page.

Join me in becoming independent, not high.


Unknown said...

Hemp for victory!

Legalizing cannabis will legalize hemp. Hemp is one of the most versatile natural resources the world will ever see. Hemp can be used as fuel, clothing, paper etc.. A little research on hemp will go a long way.. As long as the gov't doesn't keep dismissing its value..


LewWaters said...

But, it won't grow the economy or create jobs, will it?

Angie Lee said...

Therein lies the problem... They don't really give a rat's patootie about saving/creating jobs, saving taxpayer dollars, or decreasing our dependence on increasingly hostile nations. In fact, they want just the opposite.

LewWaters said...

It would appear that the doobie is the most important thing to 'E.'

I guess how to earn the money for it doesn't matter.

Angie Lee said...

They got the earnings method down pat already: Sit and wait for the check at the beginning of the month.

LewWaters said...

Funny thing, though Angie. Keep raising taxes and driving companies out of business, those welfare checks will dry up too.

Classic cranial anal inversion disorder.

Angie Lee said...

They don't get that, though. They don't think that far ahead. Since life is all about instant self-gratification and pleasing me-me-me, the here-and-now is all that matters and who gives a crap about the future. After all, the government will provide manna from heaven, right?

It's just like the moron pols who never let their needy constituents down: Corporate tax of 40% (with King Barry looking to scam some more with the international earnings) and personal tax rates approaching that same level, with almost 50% of the population contributing NOT ONE RED CENT to that tax base.... eventually the corporations will leave, the taxpayers will leave, and then there won't be anybody to distribute wealth from - to the politicians OR their poor abused masses.

Unknown said...

How would it not create jobs if hemp was legalized? How would that not raise money for the economy? And for your information I don't "sit back and wait for the check to come in."
I work for a fortune 500 company and make well enough to afford to pay my mortgage, car note and the rest of my bills.
That's the thing with you people who seem to have your blinders on to reality. NOT all people who use cannabis are what you see in the movies. A vast majority of us responsible adults are exactly that, RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.
Hemp warehouses producing paper = employment. Hemp fuel processing plants = employment. Hemp clothing plants = employment etc etc. Why do you think that there will be no employment gain by legalizing cannabis hemp?

LewWaters said...

Uh, E, this is about marijuana, not hemp. Don't you all keep telling us hemp and marijuana aren't the same thing?

As a matter of fact, the article linked doesn't even mention hemp.

So, back to the subject, how would legalizing marijuana create jobs like drilling and refining our own oil would?

Angie Lee said...

Cannabis plants, unlike people, are NOT created equal. There is a big difference between hemp used in manufacturing as compared to the recreational form. Legal or not, I hardly think you're going to be rolling up your notebook or the cuff off your pants leg and smoking it for fun.

And... with all due respect, I know not one person who uses marijuana regularly that is NOT a degenerate, waiting around for the checks to come in, or stealing other people's property to pawn for a few bucks to buy some weed.

Regardless, they are NOT going to legalize it - for the simple fact that there *IS* an opportunity to exploit it for not only tax revenues on all forms but as a means to provide jobs and goods based on hemp. Our government is not about productivity. It is about consuming and controlling the lives of everyone in sight - nothing more, nothing less. Giving people jobs would increase their independence from the government and, to this administration, that would be completely unacceptable.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it, E.

Ms Calabaza said...

I'm for drilling and for nuclear power. I have to say, I agree with legalization and tax the heck out of it. I don't smoke or drink for that matter but I work with teenagers and it is everywhere. Why not eliminate the dealers? How much time and money does our law enforcement spend on this? Just my two cents.

witchywoman said...

Legalise it. It is not fair that Marijuana smokers are not paying their fair share to Uncle Sam. Uhm yeah, let the high taxes on the wackie tabackie go towards Socialised health care. Marijuana good, tobacco bad, right?

I just don't want to be forced to inhale that crap. Join the tobacco smokers on the smokers line. If it is good enough for them, it will be good enough for you.

Unknown said...

Lew Waters you are incredibly arrogant. Legalizing MARIJUANA (the recreational drug) will lower crime rates in the United States drastically. Hundreds of thousands of petty criminals are locked up due to possession of under an ounce of weed. You seem like a stuck up republican, do you want to be paying your tax dollars to keep stoners locked up? And if you dont want to talk about Hemp then ignore the economic subject, because hemp is a TYPE of cannabinoid and it will save Californias economy easily. Try doing some research and get out of your hugely bias "facts"

LewWaters said...

Sorry, Julian, butyou are an incredibly naive dolt!

BY your ignorant reasoning, induced by a little weed I imagine, legalizing any crime would "lower crime rates."

But, put down the joint and actually read what I wrote.

Letting you potheads walk around in your constant dazed state would not contribute an iota of allowing us to drill our own oil and refine it would.

Leagalize pot, I really don't care. If you can remember how to cast your vote.

Sometimes, the best way to learn something is to let the person scald themselves.