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The Madera Tribune

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State’s marijuana scheme not paying off

May 14, 2018

Certain facts seem to be proving that the expected windfall from legalized marijuana hasn’t materialized.


According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the anticipated tax income from marijuana sales is only about a third of the $100 million that had been projected.


The black market for cannabis and what the Chronicle calls the state’s “loosey-goosey medical market” are still operating as usual.


It isn’t that folks who use marijuana have quit the habit. Far from it.


That’s because local jurisdictions, such as Madera, Madera County and Chowchilla, have kept retail marijuana stores from opening, meaning customers who want to buy the stuff legally have to drive 30 or 40 miles.


Patrons of the illegal markets, however, only have to click on an app.


Now, don’t call me and ask where to get the app, because I’ve never used one. But I’d suspect you probably could find it on line. Just remember, these folks deal in cash.


Another problem is that the lack of legal dispensaries and the continuing presence of illegal marijuana merchants has led some in law enforcement to ignore illegal users and sellers on the assumption — probably accurate — that the courts would wink at the offenders, who would stop off for a baggie on the way home from being let out without bail.


Now, I know there are cops who would bust a marijuana seller or user, but they are probably few and far between, and you can’t blame them, because the general public made it known at the ballot box when they passed Prop. 64 in 2016 that they wanted their weed.


Also, state bureaucrats have done their best to make it difficult or impossible to formulate rules that would make it easier for would-be sellers to obtain licenses.


When Madera’s City Council made its decision to turn its back on marijuana dispensaries, they did the right thing, as it turns out.


The city probably would not have collected enough taxes to pay for the enforcement of the regulations. And those who wanted to get high legally probably would have found out they couldn’t afford it.


• • •


Well, there are a couple of lessons here, foremost among them being that the state shouldn’t try to run what essentially are private businesses.


The second is that none of the so-called benefits of marijuana have been proven. That may change, but beyond imparting to its users a certain degree of goofiness, marijuana is hardly worth the money.


That lesson, however hasn’t sunk in. Now, there is a movement to legalize so-called magic mushrooms, which are dangerous and even deadly.


Oh, but wait. Some users believe nibbling so-called  “shrooms” can treat depression — probably caused by having such a difficlut time getting hold of marijuana.

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