I don’t smoke marijuana. Used to, a few decades back, but, with a nasty lung condition, it’s not in my best interest to ingest smoke of any kind! So I don’t “have a dog in this fight”, on a personal level. I am nonetheless, absolutely mortified at the audacity of the Internal Revenue Service (an agency with no legal right to exist), to deny legitimate tax write-offs for state licensed medical cannabis outlets in California. Citing violation of “federal statutes”, the IRS isn’t allowing these dispensaries to take tax deductions, ( like any other business) for expenses like “payroll”, “security”, or “rent”–effectively putting these folks out of business.
There is mounting evidence that the benefits of this herb for pain relief, appetite improvement for chemotherapy patients-allowing them to get adequate nutrition, and myriad other medical positives far outweigh any “down side”. It is impossible to put a number on those who have found this weed to be a solution to improving their quality of day to day life.
For a century, those who have chosen to use this drug as their “recreational” choice, have faced persecution and prosecution, simply because the politicians in D.C. have yet to figure out a way to fairly regulate, and turn the ensuing tax proceeds into a source of additional income for our national coffers. Instead of treating pot like alcohol and tobacco, we have demonized and criminalized it’s use and possession-wasting untold billions of tax dollars of potential income for the U.S. Meanwhile, citizens from every walk of life, along with politicians and lawmakers, sip scotch, flaunt their Marlboro’s, and puff on cigars with no legal repercussions.
Because Big Pharma has encountered a situation that provides an alternative, or “herbal answer” for some conditions- (instead of forcing everyone with a medical need, like glaucoma, to be subjected to purchasing chemical/artificial compounds they produce and control), these monopolies would deny access to all. All this- despite the obvious benefit to untold thousands of patients who can’t tolerate their commercially produced pharmaceutical drugs. Lobbyists from the largest drug companies bombard lawmakers daily to ensure that legal marijuana remains merely a “pipe dream”…and should pot ever become available legally, you can bet these same companies will somehow figure a way to try to gain control of “the supply-chain”!
Colorado recently was able to overcome a shortfall in state public school budgets by tapping a fund created solely from proceeds of regulating, taxing, and registering medical pot outlets. They used over 9 million “pot-tax” dollars (from a 21 million dollar fund) to make sure every public school had the staff and equipment necessary to properly educate all students in the state! I don’t believe it to be a massive stretch to see the potential benefit to EVERY state by adopting similar regulatory policies.
We learned the hard way during the 1920’s and ’30’s, that “prohibition” does NOT work. California (like most EVERY state in the country), faces dire budget shortfalls in the foreseeable years, and this action by a dubious government “agency”, has put further restraints on a source of potential funds benefiting the entire state. In addition, countless patients are going to face a future full of needless suffering and possible prosecution for pursuing a course of pain management, glaucoma relief, and appetite enhancement while undergoing chemo treatments.
I don’t use the stuff-but, I DO see the obvious benefit of allowing the free market to function-decriminalize, regulate, register, and tax fairly this herbal alternative! Instead of the massive waste of tax dollars prosecuting the industry, and clogging our criminal justice system, use the collected fees to make our entire country safer and more fiscally prosperous.
A friend of mine that has stage- four liver cancer, has a legitimate prescription for pot, while he undergoes chemotherapy. He asked me the other day: “Why do they keep wasting my tax dollars to protect me–from ME?”….GOOD question, eh?