Legalization Might Mean $28B in Tax Revenue

Legalization Might Mean $28B in Tax Revenue

On Friday, we wrote about how Aurora, Colorado is using the tax revenue generated by marijuana sales to help the homeless. Continue reading

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‘Mayan Ruins’ Likely a Marijuana Farm

mayan-ruins

Last week, news organizations around the world reported on the startling discovery of William Gadoury. After researching ancient Mayan cities, the 15-year-old Canadian noticed something extremely interesting.

For explanation, we turn to Green Rush Daily:

“He soon discovered that the location of these Mayan cities seemed to match up with the shapes of individual constellations. But there was one constellation that didn’t quite match up. He could find Mayan cities that corresponded to two of the constellation’s main three stars. But he couldn’t find a town that matched up with the third star.”

So armed with the coordinates of where he thought the mystery city should be, he began scouring Google Earth. And lo and behold, he found something.

Deep in the jungle, Gadoury saw a geometric outline which could only have been made by men. Given the distinct square shape seen in the satellite images, it seemed there was really something to his constellation theory, and accolades poured in.

Unfortunately, it now seems as if the budding archaeologist has found something man-made, but it’s not ancient ruins.

As Green Rush Daily reported, researchers familiar with the terrain in the photographs think the he might have stumbled on to a marijuana grow opperation. Because while spoiled smokers in places like Colorado, California, or Washington might turn their noses up at it, weed continues to be smuggled in from Mexico. But the good news is that legalization efforts in the United States seem to have been hurting some Mexican drug cartels,  who use marijuana sales to generate extra cash.

Now, who the crop belongs to, or whether Mexican authorities will bother to shut it down remains to be seen. That said, we don’t care if we lived in the Arctic Circle, pissing off a drug cartel isn’t something we’d be super keen on doing. After all, these are the kind of folks who express displeasure by decapitating their enemies—or worse.

Here’s hoping congratulations are the only thing Gadoury and his family receive as the result of his discovery.

[ via Green Rush Daily ]

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Pot Revenue Helping Homeless in Aurora, CO

aurora-1

Today, authorities in the Texas are patting themselves on the back for stopping another absurd attempt to smuggle marijuana across the border from Mexico.

According to NBC Newsone cheeky cartel’s gamble involved hiding weed inside coconuts, which is way funnier than their last big pot bust, when 800 pounds was discovered underneath a shipment of broccoli.

“The idea of taxing marijuana and using the money to help governments fund social services, education, and infrastructure has long been one championed by advocates for marijuana reform, and it’s fantastic to finally see it being put into practice.”

Meanwhile, the City Council in Aurora, Colorado has just voted to use $1.5 million in funds generated from legal marijuana sales to help the homeless. As the Huffington Post reports, the plan has been in the works since September, and now several groups, including ones which support struggling families, mentally ill people and homeless veterans will find their budgets buoyed significantly.

The idea of taxing marijuana and using the money to help governments fund social services, education, and infrastructure has long been one championed by advocates for marijuana reform, and it’s fantastic to finally see it being put into practice.

Most politicians—aside from say, Tea Party obstructionists—understand every level of government needs revenue to survive, and since money generated from marijuana essentially comes via a “sin tax,” it should be a guilt-free source of funding for state and local governments. That’s the angle which could spur some cash-strapped states to approve legal marijuana, even if officials there remain tied to outdated ideas about drug prohibition.

Of course, just because a government suddenly has more money doesn’t mean it’ll be used benevolently, like it is in Aurora. If we had to guess what, say, Texas would do with extra funds? The scenarios are pretty grim. The Lone Star State would likely use them to expand executions of retarded people, persecute transgender individuals, or—we can dream—secede from the Union.

Here’s hoping saner, enlightened states take a look at programs like Aurora’s and decide legal marijuana would be a boon to their budgets.

[ via Huffington Post, image via Live Denver Life ]

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AAA: Driving While High Not Criminal

AAA: Driving While High Not Criminal

While drunk driving didn’t begin to received widespread attention until the 1970s, measures to keep intoxicated individuals from getting behind the wheel have been on books for over a century.

“Essentially, the study showed that law enforcement’s current approach to detecting and prosecuting high drivers, is according, to AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney, ‘flawed and not supported by scientific research.'”

New Jersey, in 1906, was the first in the United States to adopt a drunk driving law, and New York and California passed similar legislation in 1910. Today, the threshold for intoxication is .08 across the country. But in the early days of enforcement, there was no standard, and what constituted impairment was left up to the officer on the scene.

And today, driving while high is considered the same as driving drunk.

Given the success of recent legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington—along with the likelihood of California’s going green in November—authorities across the country are currently trying to figure out how to measure how much THC makes drivers impaired.

And unsurprisingly, they’re getting it wrong.

As the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, a study by the American Automobile Association that found there’s no marijuana blood test equivalent to the one currently used to detect alcohol. As the AP described:

“There’s no science that shows drivers become impaired at a specific level of THC in the blood. A lot depends upon the individual. Drivers with relatively high levels of THC in their systems might not be impaired, especially if they are regular users, while others with relatively low levels may be unsafe behind the wheel.”

Essentially, the study showed that law enforcement’s current approach to detecting and prosecuting high drivers, is according, to AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney, “flawed and not supported by scientific research.” And given that smoking marijuana makes drivers less inclined to cause a crash than using a hands-free phone, the group suggested driving while high should just warrant a traffic ticket, and not be a criminal offense.

It’s an interesting argument, to say the least. But given the government has never really considered science in regard to its marijuana policy, what it will ultimately mean remains to be seen. We’ll keep you posted.

[ via the Associated Press, image via Paramount Pictures ]

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Trump’s Christie Pick Bad News for Legalization

Trump's Christie Pick Bad News for Legalization

On Monday, CNN reported that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had tapped New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to serve as the head of his transition team in the event he wins the November election.

“Trump likely won’t decide to say, nuke China in his first 100 days. But there could be huge, immediate consequences for states that have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Christie has been openly hostile even toward medical use.”

For supporters of marijuana reform, this is extraordinarily bad news.

Obviously, the idea of someone as erratic as the Manhattan real estate mogul having access to the America’s nuclear arsenal is genuinely terrifying.

That said? Trump likely won’t decide to say, nuke China in his first 100 days. But there could be huge, immediate consequences for states that have voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Up to this point in the campaign, when asked about marijuana, Trump has given the type of sprawling non-answers we’re come to expect from him.

Here’s what he said to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly when he was asked about whether he would attempt to reel in states like Colorado and Washington:

“I would, I would really want to think about that one Bill because in some ways, I think it’s good and in other ways, it’s bad.”

But after Christie endorsed him, Trump said the portly former prosecutor would make a good Attorney General, and Christie has been openly hostile even toward medical marijuana, which he’s described as “a front for legalization.” And while New Jersey does allow medical marijuana, the restrictions in the Garden State are among the strictest in the nation.

Today, there’s a fragile truce seen between federal and state governments regarding marijuana. The Department of Justice just recently abandoned it’s attempt to shutter California’s largest dispensary, nearly a decade after the Golden State voted to legalize medical marijuana.

If we had a hard-charging, crusader type as the country’s highest law enforcement officer? We could easily wake up one morning and find that truce shattered.

[ via CNN ]

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