From Desperate Taxes For Desperate Times from the Democracy in America blog: THE states are facing their greatest revenue crunches since 1939, and they're run by legislators who—understandably—don't want to lose re-election by raising taxes on everyone. Thus, they're getting creative.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a freshman from San Francisco, made a proposal intended to increase revenue, and, no doubt, appetite: legalizing and taxing marijuana, a major—if technically illegal—crop in the state. "We’re all jonesing now for money," Mr Ammiano said. "And there’s this enormous industry out there."In general, sin taxes are the most regressive—and popular—taxes that legislatures can enact. A marijuana tax would be less regressive than a cigarette tax, given the demographics of each drug's smokers. In some quarters it would be extremely popular. And the money it would cost to collect the tax would be a pittance compared to the money saved by police no longer making marijuana arrests. So is this enough of a crisis to give it a try?
Hmmm.. a commenter later goes to point out that in the longer term, health hazards of pot (yes it is almost as equally hazardous as cigarettes) will nullify any short term gain, especially given that this may boost consumption. Plus he raises a very interesting point that got me almost to laugh out loud, but wasn't really all that funny; Big Marijuana.
If weed is legalized, prety soon it will be capitalized, compartmentalized, segmented and marketed. All the fun will be lost and Runaway Jury 2 would be suing Big M.
How about it's effects in Sri Lanka then? obviously if it is capitalized worldwide we would be washed up in a wave of big companies if we legalized it over here, but what if it wasn't legalized in the US and we decided to do so as a measure to bring in some revenue to the government and make some people more happier than they already are? But it wont work;
First of all, pot smoking is frowned upon in Sri Lankan society rather more than in Western societies so support will not be there.
Also, a regime that focusses on 'mathata thitha' as one of its main marketing angles will never pass it through.
But what if we ignore these things and assumed it was passed it through anyway? would we reap any economic benefits?
Pot smoking will be legalized and massive corruption in the drug trade will stop
Local pot industry will boom due to lack of international entrants and small scale farmers will profit. Expertise will be home grown and we will be well poised to take advantage of a global pot industry, if it ever does materialize and we'd be able to add marijuana as a fourth major export crop.
Heavy taxes may be imposed to bring in additional revenue for 'nation building' without stunting industry growth
Tourism would benefit
Living conditions will improve and growth will increase.
People will chill out even more than they already do probably and perhaps this will have a detrimental effect on other industries, they don't call it a drug for nothing. Added to that the apparent health hazards. Although i think it's hardly got much on the hazards of Kassippu consumption.