As reported in a July 10, 2013 article by CBS, the taxes on recreational marijuana in Denver, Colorado could well reach a jaw-dropping rate of 35%. Due to a proposed 25% state tax rate on the recently legalized plant, as well as an additional 10%-15% city tax being proposed by Michael Hancock (mayor of the city of Denver), the cost of recreational weed will very likely skyrocket in the coming year as a result of its recent legalization. This increase in cost will then be handed over to the state’s budget and go on to fund all sorts of activities, offices, and bureaucratic engagements, the outcome of each of which will inevitably become some future manifestation of violence. When money is obtained through violence (and taxation is, after all, violent extortion and theft through involuntary means), it is always unlikely that any cause towards which such funds are directed in the future might be peaceful. Violence, especially that of the state, tends only to beget violence, regardless of whatever the motivating intentions of any such efforts are proclaimed to be. Even if stolen money is used to feed the hungry, for example, it is still morally illegitimate to steal from anyone, because someone inevitably is made a victim in the process. Even the noblest of causes being sought after by supporters and members of government are made wrongful and harmful simply because they rely on theft to obtain the resources that are necessary to their achievement. Taxation is just a nicer term to use when referring to this sort of blatant, everyday method of robbery than the honest, more abrasive names one might call it: slavery, extortion, mass celebration of violence, etc.
I hope no one out there is naive enough to have been surprised by this sudden increase in cost for marijuana, however. After all, such is the case with anything regulated by the government, although the case of marijuana is an extreme example, probably because the politicians know that people want pot decriminalized badly enough to potentially tolerate such an outrageous tax increase. From their warped perspective, people will assuredly be so eager to end the costly and deadly drug war that they will gladly give up more of their money to buy their pot without risk of arrest, even if it means giving more money to the same corrupt system that prohibited marijuana in the first place. Might I remind everyone, after all, that the war on drugs was in fact caused by the very same government that is now gradually monopolizing the sale of cannabis as a recreational intoxicant, medicine, and industrial product. Until recently, marijuana and its sister plant hemp were illegal to even possess according to the laws of the same organization that in some states now holds the exclusive right to legally distribute it for profit. In other words, the people that prohibited weed and ruined the lives of marijuana users are now the only people who are allowed to sell it at all. Even more disturbing is that there are some fools out there in other states, especially those which have yet to legalize pot, who argue simultaneously that although the drug war is wrong, a pot tax could help “pay for schools.”
If this is true, I must then suppose that all of the property taxes, fines, cigarette taxes, federal taxes that go to the Department of Education, labor and income taxes just don’t cover enough of the government’s expenses right now. Of course, that couldn’t possibly be because all of the money is going to bureaucrats, wars, prisons, and looters from the public school teachers’ union who demand/receive pensions and benefits which are outrageously distorted from whatever they might have been on the free market, could it? No, of course not! That could never be why all of those endless taxes never quite manage to cover the costs of adequate public education! The state just needs more money from pot taxes, and then public education will finally improve once and for all! Such is the rhetoric of the hopelessly misinformed and ethically undiscerning supporters of any statist policies, marijuana “reform” laws being especially notable among them.
In reality, this additional tax revenue will probably just end up getting wasted on creating more education bureaucrats, policies, and programs that ultimately hinder education, or such a budget increase will spark a strike war with all of the greedy teachers who can use their union bullies to demand that the money go into their own pockets. Nothing about this system is going to work in the long run, and weed is just going to get worse in quality and higher in price, and now with all of the extra money going to feed the same machine that has been responsible for the drug war in the first place. Wake up, people, and get with the program.
Support total decriminalization of marijuana and hemp, not legalization and government regulation. The government has no more right to rule over plants than it does over humans, and in a moral and just society, natural law holds more dominion than a bunch of bureaucratic thieves who call themselves “the government” in order to make their acts of theft and violence appear socially acceptable.
***For an additional perspective on this issue, please take the time to watch this video, which features some excellent insight provided by activist James Babb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niGuaXroM-E !***