Pot passage will bring regulations, high taxes

Submitted by Rick Ridgeway

I think one of the primary issues with Initiative 502 is kids forgetting that you have to be 21 to legally have any amount of marijuana.

When you’re 21 and older you can legally have one ounce of straight plant, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.

Weed’s great, and I enjoy it, but it’s still illegal for anyone under 21.

They’re going to impose heavy taxation upon it, just like alcohol. There are correlations between liquor being sold now in grocery stores and decriminalization of marijuana.

From what I’ve read, including the actual initiative itself, the liquor control board intends to sell marijuana products in retail outlets. Whether that means new stores specifically for that purpose or existing retailers, such as grocery stores, I’m not sure.

It is also still illegal, under the initiative as it currently reads, to openly smoke or ingest marijuana products.

The tax on marijuana products will be 25 percent from each hand-to-hand transfer: producer to processor and processor to retailer.

All taxes will go to a “marijuana fund” that will be maintained by the state. The money in this “marijuana fund” will go to various organizations and bodies, with a 50 percent concentration going to health care. Other parts of the revenue from the fund will go towards substance abuse programs and centers.

In summation, I personally approve of the measure, though it doesn’t apply to me due to age. But those to whom it does apply will be paying far more for regulated marijuana products than street-level marijuana products.

This raises a serious question as to whether or not this will have a positive impact on illegal drug sale, as it will be far less expensive and regulated if citizens buy from unlicensed sellers, i.e., dealers.