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Wednesday, Sep. 05, 2007 at 7:26 PM
August 6 -- A coalition of California marijuana growers and dealers has offered Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger one billion dollars to solve the current state budget crisis. The group, calling itself Let Us Pay Taxes makes the offer through its web site LetUsPayTaxes.com. The offer comes at a time when the California legislature is deadlocked on a new budget and California has stopped issuing checks for vitally needed social services. Legislators are currently arguing over which programs will be cut in order to balance the budget.
By Cliff Schaffer
"It is ridiculous that California can't pay its bills," said spokesman Clifford Schaffer. "It is a tragedy that they will cut badly needed services and programs such as medical care for the elderly and prison drug treatment when the money to fund all these programs and more is there and available. Everyone who is currently waiting for a check from the state should be enraged at this foolishness."
Regulation and taxation of marijuana could produce six billion dollars in additional tax revenue, according to economic studies linked from their web site LetUsPayTaxes.com. In addition, it could save up to ten billion dollars in enforcement costs. "That is a conservative estimate," said Schaffer. "By other estimates, the revenues could be five times that. The economists are with us all the way on this one. Marijuana prohibition is an economic disaster."
"Let's face reality," Schaffer says. "Marijuana legalization is inevitable. The situation is already beyond control in California. The state and local authorities have offered safe harbor for medical marijuana use and the Federal Government simply doesn't have the resources for effective control." More importantly, says Schaffer, the operators of the medical marijuana clubs are no longer afraid of the Federal Government. "If you talk to them, you will find that they know they are going to win this battle. They know that the DEA is vastly outnumbered and can't begin to prosecute all of them. The few that are prosecuted are accepting their fate as martyrs because they know that what they are doing is right. They are willing to sacrifice themselves to make the point that the Federal Government has just gone too far in interfering with very personal and private decisions. There is no way the DEA is going to win this battle. At this point, it is all over but the counting of the money - and the victims of the DEA."
Schaffer went on to say that the national market for marijuana has been estimated from a low of ten billion dollars per year to more than fifty billion dollars per year. "The first states to regulate and tax marijuana will receive an economic bonanza bigger than the original California Gold Rush," says Schaffer. "Some states will get rich like the Saudis." Schaffer predicts that it will not take long for some local areas to wake up to the economic possibilities. "We are talking potentially big bucks here," he said. "The Canadians are already starting to take note of a cannabis-fueled economic boom in some areas. Politicians can't resist fresh cash, especially when it is coming to their local community. There will be big winners and losers here. The winners will be the ones who recognize the foregone conclusion first."
The group also cites foreign terrorism as a reason to regulate and tax marijuana. "Drug Czar John Walters is being dishonest when he says that marijuana money goes to criminals and terrorists. The only reason any of that money goes to criminals or terrorists is because of the prohibition that Walters supports," said Schaffer. "Marijuana prohibition makes criminals rich just like alcohol prohibition did. The criminals are now so rich and powerful that they can challenge the legitimate governments of their own countries. There is no reason to send billions of dollars per year to foreign criminal gangs when patriotic Americans make the best products in the world. There is no reason to suffer such a huge foreign trade deficit when that money could be providing jobs and funding badly needed services right here in the USA."
Let Us Pay Taxes calls upon all US citizens to sign their petition at their web site http://LetUsPayTaxes.com and press the issue with their lawmakers. "Take the money, please," said Schaffer. "These people want to contribute. Now it is up to our politicians to tell us why they want to send those billions to foreign criminal gangs rather than to their own voters."
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