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Toke and Tax

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One proposal to solving our state's budget crisis: Make pot legal and tax it, suggests the LA Times' Patt Morrison. The writer brings up the issue because Friday is the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition, a time when politicians wanted to make alcohol sales a tax revenue. Estimates peg California's marijuana crop as a $13.8 billion a year business. "If the number is even half that, any tax windfall, on top of money saved by not prosecuting marijuana crimes, would mean a bonanza, wouldn't it? Sacramento would be doing the backstroke in black ink. With all the new parks and health clinics, we'd have more ribbon-cuttings than a baby shower. Is this just a pipe dream?" Pretty much. An economist with the Rand Corp. says that it'd never work out. Starting with the obvious: If people could grow and consume their own pot legally, it wouldn't be a $35 billion industry (nationwide figure). [LA Times]