The Slippery Tax Slope

Hawaii House Majority Floor Leader Rida Cabanilla wants to legalize cultivation of marijuana in her state for sale and export to foreign jurisdictions where usage is lawful. Admitting that she is not a fan of marijuana, Cabanilla is nonetheless very eager to get her hands on possible revenues and wants federal laws changed to allow Hawaii to rake in the dough.

This is the fuel feeding the frenzy to legalize marijuana. It is not Hippies and stoners chasing a dream and it is not the need for medicinal use. It is the quest for more taxes to pay for runaway spending and ever-increasing government assistance. Dollar signs are trumping warning signs and politicians are jumping on the pot bandwagon.

Statistics have been cherry-picked and data creatively interpreted to show benefits ($$$) of legalization while predictions of negative consequences have been ignored or sneeringly belittled. Sound familiar? It should, because the exact same thing was done with Obamacare and, once again, it will be the children who end up paying.

Why stop at marijuana? There are more taxes waiting to be mined by legalizing cocaine, heroin, prostitution, street drag racing, dog fighting, human trafficking and a host of other activities. Simply dropping the age requirement on the purchase and consumption of alcohol could bring a large increase in tax revenue.

Many sneer at the mention of a slippery slope but it occurs all the time. Abortion became legal only to help women with special circumstances and is now claimed to be a “right”. Free needles for drug users slid down the slope to free crack pipes. Demands for civil unions for gay couples slid quickly into re-defining the institution of marriage. The list is long and varied.

When taxes from marijuana become the government’s main source of revenue, everyone will be expected to smoke their “fair share” to fund the drug rehabs high school seniors will be required to complete before graduating – if they make it that far. Here’s a tip: Buy stock in Frito-Lay now, and make sure you sell it before the government taxes their products out of reach for the common man. It’s a sure thing.

David J. Hentosh

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