Tags: tobacco | marijuana | social acceptance | california

Tobacco Criminal, But Marijuana Gets a Free Pass

Image: Tobacco Criminal, But Marijuana Gets a Free Pass

A highly-rated strain of medical marijuana is displayed among others in glass jars at Los Angeles' first-ever cannabis farmer's market at the West Coast Collective medical marijuana dispensary, in Los Angeles, California, on July 4, 2014. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 11:46 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Maybe you can help me tell the difference between these two combustibles. One is a national pariah that’s been banned in certain locations in all 50 states. Personal usage is discouraged by high health insurance premiums, bans in certain occupations, and a confiscatory tax regime that makes usage extremely expensive.

The product is considered so toxic that using it around small children is sometimes viewed as abuse, it’s fumes so deadly that users are banished to the outside of buildings and ordered to stand away from entrances. Landlords can prohibit usage, apartment dwellers have been ordered to stop by municipal governments, and hotels, to say nothing of car rental companies, hit those who indulge with a hefty fee.

Even dabbling with use of this product is considered by some to be a gateway to tattoos and trailer parks.

Disapproval is so strong it may be only a matter of time before its use is banned by law in all 50 states. So please explain to me why lighting up a Marlboro is almost a capital crime, while burning a blunt makes one a brave, socially-conscious member of a movement to legalize marijuana and relieve pain?

I think it originally was because smoking tobacco made you smell bad and act like you were wired. Smoking dope also made you smell bad, but more importantly it made you mellow.

It was the difference between Barney Fife and Allen Ginsberg.

Now that reason, at least in California, may be taking a back seat in the drive for social approval. According to the Orange County Register the state’s marijuana yield is the most valuable agricultural crop in the state by almost a factor of four over the number two, and in fact mota is worth more than the next five crops combined!

The Register contends the value of the chronic crop is $23.3 billion a year, followed by milk at $6.28, almonds at $5.33, grapes at $4.95, cattle at $3.39, and lettuce at $2.25.

I’m sure the politicians in Sacramento think enduring a little second-hand smoke is a small price to pay when the potential for tax revenue is considered.

Only the Register’s estimate is wildly in excess of other figures produced by Arcview Group. That estimate has the crop at $2.8 billion. That’s a lot of money, but nowhere near the Register estimate.

So what accounts for the difference? Crime. Illegal marijuana growers far exceed the production of the legal farms and much of their product goes into the — how shall I put this — export market.

So for the time being Sacramento will have to put marijuana tax revenue dreams on hold until it’s outright legalized and all growers report all the crop. Until then the politicians can continue to tax tobacco into oblivion and soak the taxpayers who haven’t fled the state.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

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Please explain to me why lighting up a Marlboro is almost a capital crime, while burning a blunt makes one a brave, socially-conscious member of a movement to legalize marijuana and relieve pain?
tobacco, marijuana, social acceptance, california
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2017-46-18
Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 11:46 AM
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