In my younger days I tried marijuana a couple of times. Unlike Bill Clinton I inhaled. I stopped using it after those 2 times since I didn't like what it did to me. I'm a Type A person and while I really, really could use something to cool my jets, anything I use tends to take the entire stuffing out of me which renders me entirely useless and unable to do anything except sit and grin. I certainly don't have a problem with others using it, I just don't like it for me.
When Colorado and Washington legalized it's use, I thought it a good thing. I think it should be legal and available for whoever wants to partake for whatever reason. I paid 0 attention to the entire subject until Friday when I logged into Twitter and started reading tweets from Goldie Taylor. Miss Taylor is an MSNBC contributor and one of the few whose opinions interest me.
The legalization of weed is a liberal issue, and when two states did so there was a lot of celebrating and dancing in the Twitter streets. It looked, on the surface, like a liberal win, which surprised me since Colorado is a Tea Party State.
Miss Taylor read the information on the law and began tweeting about the flaws she found in it. Essentially, in her opinion, and mine, it's little more than a way for the state to make more tax money while preserving it's number one industry, the prison system.
The law states you may have weed on you ONLY if purchased from a state licensed dealer. State licensed dealers are charging close to $500 an ounce plus a 25% state sales tax. This means buying marijuana is legal for the rich and not for the poor.
Colorado prisons are privatized. The company which operates them has a contract with the state that requires the state to provide a certain number of bodies to be incarcerated. On the surface, this new marijuana law would have reduced the number of incarcerated since it stopped making possession anything more than a misdemeanor offence for which a fine would be levied. That would apply only if the possessor displayed the weed or opened the bag. I'm assuming the holder of the weed would have some sort of receipt proving the weed was purchased legally.
For the poverty stricken in the state of Colorado and in many other states, illegal sale of weed is a major source of income. Given the price of legal weed this will still hold true for the most part simply because residents in those neighborhoods aren't going to be able to afford the price of legal weed.
Legal dealers are paying a premium for their licenses, they aren't going to tolerate a loss of sales to a cheaper illegal dealer, so I would think they'll start turning them in. The state is rubbing it's hands together and mentally spending that 25% sales tax that they have probably been fantasizing over since the people chose to legalize weed. If those figures aren't where they believe them to be I'd be looking for the state to begin cracking down on the illegal sales which will then provide the bodies necessary to feed the prison industry.
I can't really find much to celebrate in this law, but like all things without any history to examine and form a conclusion on, we simply have to wait and see. As it stands right now, this isn't anything to crow about.