The State Always Wants a Cut of the Action

There are several givens in life. Placing your hand on a hot stove will result in a great deal of pain and the state always wants a cut of the action. Cannabis legalization in Colorado may be going back to the drawing board. It’s not because there has been an uptick in violent crime, it’s because the state wants a cut:

The proposal for a marijuana ballot measure came as the House started debate Friday evening on bills to regulate and tax pot. One bill would state how pot should be grown and sold, and the other would tax recreational marijuana more than 30 percent.

A draft bill floating around the Capitol late this week suggests that a new ballot question on pot taxes should repeal recreational pot in the state constitution if voters don’t approve 15 percent excise taxes on retail pot and a new 15 percent marijuana sales tax. Those would be in addition to regular state and local sales taxes.

Give the state a 15% (which will increase over time) cut or it will make cannabis illegal again. There are no permanent victories when you rely on the political process. All that can be achieved are temporary victories that can be revoked on a politician’s whim. This is why I don’t rely on politics to achieve anything. By relying on politics you’re giving tacit permission to the state to regulate. Since the political means was used to legalize cannabis now the state believes it has a right to tax cannabis sales. If advocates of cannabis legalization doesn’t agree the state will merely make cannabis illegal again and the fight will start from square one. Civil disobedience works because it exploits the state’s biggest weakness, public opinion. When people see the state isn’t all seeing they become more willing to disobey its decrees and the state, therefore, has a vested interest in maintaining its omniscient image and is more apt to decriminalize behaviors that people are partaking in in spite of the law.