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post #391 of 405 Old 09-10-2018
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Re: Cannabis use on board

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politicians always find a clever way to use it for the general good.
I can see how nobody would want that.
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post #392 of 405 Old 09-10-2018
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Re: Cannabis use on board

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I can see how nobody would want that.
I know you're focused on the general good, but think about it. We become reliant upon the revenue from the consumption of alcohol and marijuana to fund our government. IOW, if consumption declines, government and society suffer. Insidious.


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Re: Cannabis use on board

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While I find there are some good legalization arguments, the most insidious reason to legalize anything is to collect taxes. It simply addicts the government to the revenue and the public to whatever that revenue provides. Everyone is living off others addiction/affliction.

I've heard it proposed that these taxes be segregated and only allowed to be used for affliction related matters, such as education, rehabilitation, regulatory oversight, etc. Makes some sense. However, greedy, elect-me, politicians always find a clever way to use it for the general good. It's an evil spiral. Legalize it, if you must. Don't benefit from it, that just make the government the drug lord. I strongly predict that future generations will regret our self-indulgent course.
I think that in Canada, legalization will be a huge success in that it will create a large bureaucracy of highly paid government union employees which is good for our slowly creeping up unemployment numbers. The downside will be a continuous money loser as our government predicts prices to be 30 to 50 percent higher than the illegal street market. The traffickers will go about their business.
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post #394 of 405 Old 09-10-2018
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Re: Cannabis use on board

Sin taxes of one sort or another have been around for ever. Can be applied to to most ďvictimless crimeĒ(prostitution, drug, alcohol use, gaming). Can be taken to the extreme (Netherlands) and increase personal freedom or can criminalize anything outside the state religion (Saudi Arabia) and enslave large segments of the population. Given choice would accept the sin tax but with caveat sinner accept personal responsibility for the downstream consequences of the sin. Such victimless crime isnít victimless in my view. Even something as benign as pot smoking will lead some to waste their lives and be parasitic slackers. I canít see how prostitution is good for either party, nor addictive gaming,or drinking.
However, freedom implies the ability to make bad decisions. The disconnect in the ma ma state is in not allowing the negative consequences to act as a deterrent to such behavior. Yes thereís much scientific support to justify the medicalization of additive disorders and itís rational to view them as disease not moral weakness. But some degree of operant conditioning should be allowed to apply.
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post #395 of 405 Old 09-10-2018
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Re: Cannabis use on board

Freedom, government, money and taxes do not naturally exist in nature, to be consumed like natural resources, as the mob pleases. They go away, if you screw them up, if you over burden them, and you end up with nothing.


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post #396 of 405 Old 09-10-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Cannabis use on board

OBís view hits close to mine on this. Freedom means the right to do stupid things. But with rights should come responsibilities, which is something too many of us seem to have forgotten. In the case of doing stupid things, it should come with the responsibility of accepting the consequences of our choices.

The use of mood altering drugs has always been part of human cultures. And indeed, is not unique to the human animal; other animals exhibit similar behaviour. Criminalizing an intrinsic behaviour has never met with success.

The whole tax-dependancy thing is interesting. Itís very true some governments can become the real addicts in this regard. So-called sin taxes (alcohol, tobacco, gambling, now cannabis) are significant in some jurisdictions, and do seem to be growing. I think these things should be kept in check, but I also think it is hard to see how this can ever be a worse problem than funnelling the money through the black market.

Sin taxes have also been used to change consumer behaviour around certain products. All the tobacco education never did as much to change consumer behaviour compared to simply raising the taxes (cost) of cigarets. Same for fuel costs and the sales of fuel efficient vehicles. Of course, itís a fine line; raise it too high and the black market comes back.

Legalizing cannabis in Canada is fundamentally a harm-reduction move. It will divert revenue from the bad hombres. It will reduce the huge societal costs currently spent to manage the problems created by making drug use illegal. And it will bring greater safety to cannabis users who can now have greater assurances about what theyíre actually ingesting.

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Re: Cannabis use on board

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I know you're focused on the general good, but think about it. We become reliant upon the revenue from the consumption of alcohol and marijuana to fund our government. IOW, if consumption declines, government and society suffer. Insidious.
You make an interesting and noteworthy point but it's not really as bad as it sounds. Current alcohol and cigarette taxes are a very minuscule part (less than 1 percent) of overall tax revenues. I think cannabis taxes are expected to yield less than those two. And I'd imagine that alcohol and cannabis consumption will be relatively stable over time with up and down trends that move slowly. Think about how cigarette use has declined drastically over the past few decades and it hasn't led to any catastrophic tax revenue losses. Actually, I think that governments have just hiked taxes on cigarettes significantly which has further deterred use, and effectively taxes people who still smoke more, and who tend to be lower income anyway, but that's a whole nother topic.
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Re: Cannabis use on board

A sin tax is an interesting concept, but it's a red herring, IMO. Are we taxing to deter behavior? You ultimately can't do so, without making it indirectly illegal again. Can I open a casino in my basement? Can me and 100 of my friends grown acres of marijuana for personal consumption, or open a distillery for the same? The personal use exclusions are general restrictive enough that one is generally forced to pay the government, so the tax can be a deterrent. And we're back to the black market.

The bottom line with sin taxes is the new spendable revenue. It's what sells them every time. A black market is alive and well for gambling, prostitution and will remain for marijuana. If you tax a product, you add an artificial cost that will never be incurred by the black market. By definition, they have a competitive advantage.

Many other arguments are plausible, if not proven. They are each attainable without taxing the product. Think about the odds of legalization passing, with zero revenue associated. You think? Those who look forward to legal access are being asked to pay for the freedom. That ain't free.


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Re: Cannabis use on board

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The bottom line with sin taxes is the new spendable revenue. It's what sells them every time. A black market is alive and well for gambling, prostitution and will remain for marijuana. If you tax a product, you add an artificial cost that will never be incurred by the black market. By definition, they have a competitive advantage.
I don't think there's a black market for alcohol, even though it's about as easy (maybe easier) to home brew beer in your basement than to grow a cannabis plant. The reason why is that consumers want a good, consistent, safe product. The same will happen with cannabis. Obviously, there is a balance to find with taxation, and if taxes are high enough then a black market will remain. But I expect the illegal black market for cannabis to dwindle away once consumers can simply walk into a legal store and select from 100s of safe, tested and regulated cannabis products at a reasonable cost.

For what it's worth, I'm very much in favor of allowing and encouraging people to grow and gift their own cannabis, and to keep the retail production and sales industries small and local within state borders. I do not want to see big corporations buying up all the marijuana businesses and operating them like the big international pharma and alcohol companies.
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Re: Cannabis use on board

Interesting point about alcohol. There remains a moonshine industry, but I think it's pretty insignificant. I know that liquor is still bootlegged from State's with lower taxes to higher taxed States. Same with cigarettes.

It is very difficult to create the same quality of alcohol at home, which I suspect is also why consumption is focused on mass producers.

I say, if the majority of the electorate wants it to be legal, then don't tax it. If one needs the taxes to gain a majority, we're not ready.


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