Free To Speak
Rodney Simmons

Legal Marijuana = Tax Dollars

Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016, at 10:32 AM
View 29 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • *

    I will tell you what WE really NEED. We need to take care of ourself and let the other guy take care of him/herself. Sure, legalizing MJ would get more tax dollars (willingly given) for the guvment to party with. But it is still illegal on the federal level. But who cares about that? The real problem comes later. When people have self-medicated themselves into a dream world, who will work and pay income tax? Who will pay for all the addiction treatment that we caused? I guess it will be me and a few others that still have the gumtion to work. No, wait a minute, I think I will just drop out and party.

    -- Posted by fair share on Thu, Mar 17, 2016, at 10:55 AM
  • Also, how people at the overcrowded Bedford County Jail on trial for Marijuana based offenses?

    -- Posted by northernraider on Thu, Mar 17, 2016, at 11:13 AM
  • No reason all drugs shouldn't be legalized.

    Being free necessarily means being free to make bad choices. If your life's ambition is to be a meth head, have at it, but accept the consequences yourself.

    Just as prohibition brought us Al Capone, the drug war has broght us the cartels.

    Legalize it, tax it, and quit wasting money on a war that can't possibly be won, that is often used as a excuse to trample on our rights in other areas.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Mar 17, 2016, at 12:19 PM
  • *

    That would be fine with me as long as we don't have to pay for other people's problems.

    -- Posted by fair share on Thu, Mar 17, 2016, at 3:59 PM
  • Alcohol is legal and it causes more accidents than someone that smoked a joint.I know several people in all fields of work that work everyday and have been for years and use marijuana.Tenn will never make it legal but we sell tobacco that kills millions of people every year.

    -- Posted by lets be real on Thu, Mar 17, 2016, at 7:56 PM
  • I too know productive, tax paying folk who have used it since the 70's. Seems much less destructive than alcohol and while I am not sure about smoking it (I can't stand smoke in any form) I would like to try some of the "green" benefits derived before it is heated.

    Heating enhances the THC effect but without it there seems to be a lot of medical use that makes sense. What would be the reaction if another common plant was determined to be hallucinogenic? Say corn or wheat? Would it makes sense to ban it?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 18, 2016, at 7:26 AM
  • If you were born before say 1955 you know exactly what pot is unless you have led a very deep south, bible belt, naive, sheltered life....

    They are not legalizing it because it is an introduction into the money making racket for local and state government entities "per person".

    They can incarcerate or tie down in the system from probation to jail and then some...it's a crooked business and to me unconstitutional to oppress the poor and young or fine them even to the point that it keeps the revenue coming in or gives them a record that haunts them the rest of their lives...

    Pot should be decriminalized completely so not even one of those thieves can take anymore as a non-seen tax upon the people...Louisiana is the worst at it.....and

    BTW, theirs no need for any rehab for a pot smoker unless your just nuts to start with!...and

    It's not a gateway drug either! Well if you have any logic at all you would know that!

    ...Individual addictive personalities are where other drugs find a problem! Drugs like Meth and Crack are chemicals and idiots only find them on every level of society!

    Yeah you idiot, shot yourself up with lye and battery acid until your clawing at your face then crawl into houses weighed down with lust for more!

    Unreasoning animals, they do exist in latter times ya know! duh! In poverty oppressed areas are where you find that...so continue to create those areas in the country...where's the wisdom?

    Stop the oppression and take the tax revenue and fix the infrastructure! It's not looking like the feds are going to quit sending our infrastructure monies to other countries instead of fixing America!

    Vote those who are not doing their job or those who are playing "look at me games" (politics), out on Capital hill these next few years! It don't matter if they are Republican or Democrat!...If they are not cooperating for what they are getting paid get rid of them!...{sorry that's a whole other topic!}.

    If you have never consumed it good!I did in collage but not bored enough now to use it at all! I've turned it down in those rare circles or times when its there!

    Until it is legal it jeopardizes my other medical needs so I won't because its logical not too in my world! Besides, the munchies like chips and chocolate are not good for my dieting! Ha! If it was legal I still don't care for it, but that's a personal choice! If it stopped this bone cancer pain I'd considerate it at times I'm sure. From things they are finding out about it, It might just work!

    That's another issue, if it were legal they could research it more and study it...as it is "illegal" they have no money, grants, or product to even find out per state!

    If you have used it like the 72% of anyone born after 1955, or been in the midst of it one time or another like collage or your younger days; get over your soap box stance, and pay more attention to your own life! If your "buzzy" working on you, you don't have time trying to fix others! Which would be fruitless to start with! Most people with any brain at all ignore those who are just busy bodies anyhow! Well, in 2016, surely they do! I do! Don't you?

    It's time we all realize its harmless!...There's of yet, any danger, any stronger then the Splenda (artificial sweetener) we use, causing cancer now! It's just a way, in society today, to oppress the weak, poverty stricken, and weak minded!

    Those who call themselves "Christian" and hurt others, either by speaking or oppression of thy brother, will answer for it I reckon!

    "In my book stealing, oppression of the weak, gossip, [bearing] false witness, then lying, {even when you know the truth}, only to make yourself look like your wearing white is wrong!"

    But, that's just my feelings, I can't speak for others and can't live their lives! Thanks for reading!....."Pass kindness not judgement!"..... "Leave judgement for the day of reckoning."

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Fri, Mar 18, 2016, at 2:12 PM
  • Well said chefgrape.

    -- Posted by lets be real on Fri, Mar 18, 2016, at 6:21 PM
  • Makes me wonder who our legislators are catering to, in continuing to support the "war on drugs." Look at the variety of people posting on here, who seldom agree on anything, who agree on this.

    1) It is not the government's business to regulate our personal behavior. The freedom to make choices implies the freedom to make bad choices as well as good ones.

    2) Recreational substance use is a personal choice, addiction is a medical issue. Criminal prosecution is no more effective treating addiction, than it is treating diabetes. It has been amply demonstrated that this approach to substance abuse DOES NOT WORK.

    3) It is my opinion that drug laws have essentially zero effect on drug use. Legalizing drugs will not cause an increase in drug use. Alcohol is legal. Some people drink and some people do not. Alcohol use did not decrease during prohibition, nor increase when prohibition ended.

    4) The social cost is tremendous. Lives are ruined by criminal prosecution that would not have been ruined by drug use. And the expense of incarceration is a burden on all of us.

    5) Legalization would not only provide a boost in tax revenues, it would create additional jobs and agricultural income.

    6) It would deprive criminal organizations from drug cartels to gangs of considerable income.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Sat, Mar 19, 2016, at 12:47 AM
  • But look at all the lawyers that would have to find other work.

    -- Posted by mah37160 on Sat, Mar 19, 2016, at 2:30 AM
  • If one has an addictive personality, or lacking enough social stimuli that they need to "escape" reality, then my condolences, they have a tough battle in life. Lack of stimuli can be resolved by friends, family and society but the physical tendencies for addiction seem to be the toughest.

    In my opinion, that predisposition makes medicine, or any item/product that makes you feel better a "gateway drug". You learn from an early stage that there are things out there to feed your need. Any over-the-counter remedy to take your fever down or relieve pain is the start.

    Most of us don't appear to have that dependency and we learn (hopefully) from early parental guidance that overuse of any medicine is not good. We learn to control its' use.

    Taking away, or regulating something that can be used by millions safely is not the answer. From what I have read and heard, meth cannot be used by ANYONE safely so that would be an example of something that NEEDS to be controlled.

    Spend our tax dollar there and in treatment for identified addictions, not the control of marijuana. Tax it as any other product but decriminalize it.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 20, 2016, at 8:29 AM
  • Steve meth and Adderall are chemically very simliar.

    Meth is "dirtier", due to it's illicit production, and hits a bit harder, but after the initial hit both are dextroamphetamine.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Sun, Mar 20, 2016, at 11:45 AM
  • WOW! So we are not only starting our love for the "magic pill" with over-the-counter stuff, we are actually PRESCRIBING a very addictive drug to our kids?

    Don't get me wrong, I use some of that over-the-counter stuff and I also use some prescription stuff but somehow I always have this urge to get off as much a possible. To find the cause and correct that rather than just "treat it".

    I researched ADD/ADHD a little just now looking for causes and noticed that there is a lot more emphasis on treating the condition than there is determining the cause and thus stopping it.

    I could get waaaay off subject here, so I will stop where I am, a sick feeling in my stomach about what we are doing to ourselves. Marijuana is NOTHING compared this other crap.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 20, 2016, at 4:29 PM
  • STEVEMILLS I think you are making the right decision trying to get to the root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms. I also think you will find the answer you seek, although the correction needed may not be easy.

    As with most problematic things in this world, money is at the root. There is more money to be made by treating sick people than there is in healing them.

    As far as legalizing marijuana, I have to ask. Why is it illegal in the first place? It would seem that it was an attempt at controlling human behavior. So, to me that is not justification. Government power should be limited to only the elimination of the act of plundering one another.

    Marijuana is a naturally growing substance. So, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to control. Humans are inherently unlawful and continuously finding ways to "get around" any law. So, a great deal of effort is spent in futility.

    Government effort should only be spent on controlling the plundering of life, liberty, and possessions of one another. If a person grows, possess, buys, sells, and uses marijuana, is he plundering the life, liberty, or possessions of another?

    It is all so simple, If only the government was confined to its proper role.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Mar 20, 2016, at 9:21 PM
  • -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 21, 2016, at 9:55 AM
  • SCOTUS shows common sense twice.

    I'm sure that's a sign of the apocalypse.


    -- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Mar 21, 2016, at 4:00 PM
  • I am surprised it is not legalized in TN. Must be more tax revenue arresting people over it. I would vote to legalize pot and tax the fire out of it. With what I read in the paper Shelbyville could build a new jail (if they needed one after the pot people were evicted) and a new school in a year. I would prefer people to be on pot than going to the pain management clinics. Perhaps it would stop the heroine epidemic I keep hearing about. I've never heard of anyone overdosing on marijuana. I do believe marijuana has medical qualities too. I do not believe it is a gateway drug.. Just a little herb..

    -- Posted by Union on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 3:26 AM
  • I just posted a chart showing the legal sales of marijuana in the US compared to some other products. What is interesting I think is that not only did marijuana bring in more money but it did so in a much smaller market since all of the other products are sold in all 50 states.

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 9:06 AM
  • But you left out the big part Rodney Simmons.. HOW MUCH DOES THE STATE MAKE OFF OF A JOINT? Arrested! incarcerated! Bond out of jail ($$$) Attorney fees ($$$) Court cost ($$$) Drug fund (if you had any money in your wallet $$$$$$$). It is about the money... has nothing to do with the drug.

    -- Posted by Union on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 1:51 PM
  • In response as to Marijuana being a "gateway" drug, I will say this first. Not every person who uses pot will end up using heroin and/or some other substance. In fact, most won't. However, I've been involved in the treatment of several thousand heroin, meth and cocaine addicts and every single one, without exception, stated that the first elicit drug they used was marijuana. Every single one.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 2:24 PM
  • How many drank alcohol before using weed?

    Just because one is legal, it shouldn't be discounted.

    Addicts are usually trying to escape a painful reality. The method doesn't really make much difference.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 6:17 PM
  • Don't forget tobacco. The last I heard, more drug users start with tobacco than marijuana....

    -- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Mar 23, 2016, at 7:45 PM
  • >quietmike & lazarus< Both of you are correct in that many addicts start with legal substances like tobacco and alcohol. However if you'll look at my comment again, I specifically referenced ILLICIT substances. I have absolutely no opposition to the legalizing of THC for medicinal purposes, as there are many who would benefit from it. THC is manufactured in pill forms (Sustiva & Marinol) that work exactly the same as the smokeable form of pot. (Actually they work better)There is also hash oil, that when used properly, stops seizure activity. I could also go along with decriminalization rather than outright legalization, as I don't believe someone deserves to go to jail or carry around a criminal record for possession of small amounts.

    The specific problem with outright legalization is that it will be made even more readily available to our children via having an older person make the purchase for them. (Just like alcohol & tobacco)

    However, simply describing pot as "harmless" is false. To describe pot as not being a "gateway" drug is also a false narrative, because it most definitely is.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Mar 24, 2016, at 9:12 AM
  • *

    There is a problem with legalizing MJ. Altho there are a relative few who might benefit from it medically, if it were legalized for medical purposes there would be a massive amount more people claiming various illnesses trying to get it for "medicinal purposes". Then you get into the problem of doctors prescribing it for "medicinal purposes" then being harassed by various govment agencies for being "drug dealers". It would put doctors in the middle of trying to figure out how much is enough but not too much. Just look at the problem narcotics are causing. If you want to legalize it across the board, fine. Just be ready to deal with all the problems it will cause. Better yet, legalize it and let the users deal with their own problems and leave the taxpayer ( the few of us that are left ) alone.

    -- Posted by fair share on Thu, Mar 24, 2016, at 12:03 PM
  • Tim; Based on my experiences during my wild and dissolute youth, illegal substances were far easier to procure than legal ones. Tobacco was an exception, since there was no enforcement of underage tobacco laws at that time. The distributors of alcohol were under the risk of being busted for underage sales, and most were reluctant to risk their business. Admittedly, finding a an 18 YO friend to make the purchase was not that difficult, but it was more difficult than obtaining illegal substances. By the very fact of being illegal for any purchases, illegal substances are *more* difficult to keep out of the hands of minors.

    -- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Mar 24, 2016, at 7:23 PM
  • The "gateway" argument is silly. It only exists because marijuana is illegal.

    Most addicts also drank milk as a baby.

    Correlation is not the same as causation.

    When starting any new endeavor, the majority of people will start small and gradually get deeper into their new hobby.

    Most race car drivers start at a dirt track, some go farther. It's very uncommon for a driver to start at the Indy 500.

    Very few addicts start with heroin.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Mar 25, 2016, at 6:40 AM
  • Another positive to making marijuana legal...jobs!


    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Mon, Mar 28, 2016, at 2:07 PM
  • Pot should be legal, if everybody was let out of jail or prison, for small amounts of pot, we wouldn't need a new jail; look what it costs; It has many health benefits, or pleasure, I feel what you do in your own home is your business, and not hurting anyone else, tax it; now look at the other point what is alcohol costing in wrecks, people loosing their lives, families children, daily? If one is against the law, then they both should. I would vote to legalize pot. Smoked in my early 20's no problem, at 66 would I now if legal yes, and throw out ALL OF THE POISON MEDICINES I'M ON NOW, just so the Big Pharm can get rich and kill us with their drugs.

    -- Posted by maj_50 on Mon, Apr 11, 2016, at 9:02 PM
  • I have waited to weigh in on this,but here goes. While I do not agree with the taxing of the drug I feel it should be like wine- beer where you are allowed to make-grow so much a year for your personal use. Say if a person was allowed to have 5 plants a year, and no more than say a half pound at any time. My question is how much money would be freed up to spend in the stores thus creating more sales tax, and more jobs.I also feel use would drop as it takes the high out of doing something that is not legal.The thrill would be gone.The crime factor would be taken out of it.Jails would be less crowded and everyone could walk around with a smile.

    -- Posted by kings11 on Thu, Jun 23, 2016, at 11:45 AM
Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration: