Monday, November 17, 2008

Public health study shows addiction going down without arrests and jail; public employee unions should ask questions

Paul Armentano from NORML has noted on the prestigious Congress Blog at The Hill, one of the newspapers that specializes in covering Capitol Hill and politics, that a new CDC report shows that the prevalence of cigarette smoking has dropped below twenty percent!

Paul contrasts the dramatic decline in cigarette use since the 1960s with the increase in marijuana use, and concludes,

If federal lawmakers truly wished to address marijuana use, they would take a page from their successful campaign to reduce the use of cigarettes. This would include taxing and regulating cannabis with the drug’s sale and use restricted to specific markets and consumers.

One factor helping to reduce cigarette addiction has been increased tobacco taxes. Apropos of taxation, and the fiscal crisis facing states, counties and cities across the nation:

Before the nation's governors, mayors and county executives propose furloughing or laying off police officers, school teachers, sanitation workers, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and recreation aides who care for our family members and protect public safety, there is one question that the public employee unions should demand answered: How much revenue from marijuana taxation are they throwing away in order to sacrifice those jobs and the families of public employees?

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Michael Blunk said...

If marijuana was taxed like cigarettes or alcohol, would the extra revenue (and savings from not enforcing prohibition) be enough to offset states' huge budget deficits? What do you think?

Michael Blunk
President and Founder
University of Houston SSDP

Eric E. Sterling said...

Almost certainly not. To make such claim would be like believing in the tooth fairy.
Does cannabis revenue have to meet the entire budget gap? Of course not.
If the revenue only covers 10 or 15 percent, that would be enormous!
These gaps are going to have to be covered or there will be a dramatic cut in vital public services.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard to get the media to make any serious mention of drug law reform. I think there was maybe one 10 second reference (more ridicule) to the fact that 9 new laws where passes in this election supporting medical marijuana or decriminalizing it. One would think with over 60% approval there would be at least one pundit willing to have at least a 4 minute story on a major news channel. Are the pundits and politicians so out of touch that they don't realize this isn't a deadly third rail issue anymore. Or am I just out of touch?