"When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before." ~ H.L. Mencken
Marijuana Prohibition Will Die of 1,000 Cuts…So Look Out
Column by Alex R. Knight III.
Exclusive to STR
Of the 50 tax farms that comprise America, 16 have governments that will allow prescribed medical marijuana for use by patients suffering from such conditions as glaucoma, anorexia, or cancer. The local rulers of the District of Criminals also recognize such provisions, benign repositories of wisdom that they are. In some of these arbitrary geographical locations, such as Marxachusetts, even non-medical offenders are fined, along with confiscation of their plant-of-choice, instead of time in a steel cage. Still tyranny, but with a softer, more politically-palatable edge to it.
Now in the wake of the 2012 bi-annual choice of whom shall issue us all orders, the tax farms of Washington and Colorado have gone further still in that a majority of people casting ballots inside those two sets of imaginary boundaries have decided they don’t want armed government thugs interfering with them in any way if they choose to use marijuana recreationally. Following this lead, the bureaucrats in both Maine and Rhode Island, perhaps not to be left out of a chance to enter a popularity contest, have filed legislation to emulate the same.
This is not a trend that seems likely to reverse. The horse is now out of the stable, and I doubt if any amount of obstinance from the federal goons is going to have much more effect than such an attitude did for their counterparts in Warsaw Pact eastern Europe in 1991. Relatively soon now, as I hinted at in an earlier essay, marijuana will no longer be considered illegal (or, perhaps more correctly, will be considered legal once again) by those who arrogantly claim the power to tell us what we may or may not do, use, have, sell, make, or be.
Or almost. Those same pernicious tyrants, now realizing the not-so-funny game of locking people up in the prison-industrial complex is nearing an end, will seek to do what their equally cynical forebears did in 1933 with alcohol re-legalization: They will tax its sale to death, license and tax its commercial producers, and restrict it to the 21 and over crowd. They will continue to jail and collect fines from those who violate these provisions, and be hailed for it as defenders of society – when in reality, we libertarians know that they are the filthiest, most opportunistic scum of the breed.
Yes, pot prohibition is on its inevitable way out, and good riddance. It is and will continue to happen through an incongruent amalgam of both statist (legislative) and non-statist (agorism, 4/20 civil disobedience, etc.) actions, but happen it will. It will die the proverbial death of 1,000 cuts. This means far fewer people will end up in jail, and it means less power for the police. But it also means those in government are going to try their damndest to garner public support for tight control over the terms and conditions under which marijuana becomes “allowable.” And if that isn’t fought and stopped, it will almost definitely prove – as with the myriad of laws and government-supporting taxes surrounding both booze and tobacco – to be the deepest, unkindest, and most completely hypocritical -- cut of all.
Better, I would say, to cut government out of everything summarily, once and for bloody all. Wouldn’t you?