Carl Gibson: Legalize and Tax it, Already

Reporters during a Houston Chronicle are seeking a wrong questions.

A Nov. 11 headline reads, “30,000 arrests held in reserve during Sheriff’s Office.” The essay explains that roughly 20,000 misconduct warrants are corroborated adult in a military database, straining Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s staff. Garcia lamented that bill cuts and a countywide employing solidify are prolonging a backlog. The Chronicle cited identical detain backlogs in Bexar and Dallas counties.

In Harris County, there were 10,305 pot possession arrests for pot in 2007, some-more than any other county in Texas. Coincidentally, a other dual leaders in pot possession arrests that year were Bexar and Dallas counties, with 8,128 and 4,398 respectively.

In Texas, possession of anything reduction than dual ounces is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,000, and a limit jail judgment of 180 days. 97 percent of a state’s pot arrests were for possession. The Chronicle could have asked Garcia if treating pot given a same sequence as ethanol and tobacco would giveaway adult county jail space, or yield Harris County with adequate taxation dollars to equivalent open reserve cuts, or soothe 10,000 arrests from a county’s backlog.

Tobacco use claims some-more than 440,000 deaths annually. Alcohol kills an additional 37,000 Americans any year, not even including alcohol-related automobile accidents. Prescription drugs killed some-more than 30,000 Americans in 2009. These addictive drugs kill roughly half a million Americans any year. Marijuana has killed zero. Critics disagree that ratified pot would spin a nation into a breakwater for drug abuse, nonetheless Portugal has dramatically lowered their bonds and obsession rates by decriminalization.

Alcohol breach was repealed in a 1930s after America saw orderly crime thrive off of subterraneous speakeasy bars and wine bootlegging. Al Capone and his squad brutally gunned down all who against them in a streets of Chicago during a breach era. The dissolution of a 18th Amendment eventually crippled gangs like Capone’s and helped solve amicable ills.

Alcohol and tobacco are both profitable sources of taxation income for state governments — Texas is approaching to make $2.8 billion this mercantile year from dig taxes on those drugs. As California’s biggest money crop, cannabis would beget roughly as most taxation income as a wine industry. Repealing pot breach would boost America’s economy with jobs and some-more than $46 billion in taxation revenue.

Before a Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, landowners were speedy to grow hemp, due to a utility and versatility. The U.S. Constitution was created on hemp. And one hactare of hemp can furnish as most paper as 7 acres of wood. Lamont DuPont of a DuPont chemical house had developed products to harmonize with timber paper, though not hemp paper.

DuPont outlawed his aspirant in 1937 with a assistance of William Randolph Hearst’s paper sovereignty and Harry J. Anslinger’s pale testimonies as U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics. Marijuana’s criminalization was concurrent with a assistance of a factually-deficient, racially-inspired allegation campaign.

Here’s a doubt a Chronicle could have asked: Why isn’t a medically beneficial, remunerative stand like cannabis legal, like other some-more dangerous drugs? Even Gallup has found that half of a race already supports legalizing marijuana. It’s time for a referendum on pot decriminalization. Let a people decide.


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