"Legalize it, and then tax the h*ll out of it!"

This was the opinion of a (possibly pot smoking) fraternity guy with whom I was discussing the world's problems. He probably read my reaction and quickly added, "I'm not even saying we need to tax it, but it would be better than it is now."

So my question: Why is this such a knee jerk response? After all, taxing the heck out of something is only mildly better than putting people in jail for selling it, and for the exact same reasons. Can you imagine Vietnam hippies saying, "End the draft, and then make the 18-year-olds work in soup kitchens for 3 years!" ?

Okay, well, you're right, probably many of them would have agreed with that sentiment. Umm, I had a point with this blog post but now it eludes me...


  1. Maybe your point was that by legalizing and taxing pot, we give the govt more money with which to make other activities illegal? I think a closer example would have been ending the draft and making 18 year old work as bureaucrats.

  2. There was a commentary on lewrockwell.com a year or two, or three ago that made a libertarian (if you will) case for NOT legalizing pot.

    It was featured in some Canadian newspaper, if memory serves me correct, and co- written by two Canadian journalists.

    They made some excellent points and I've been trying to find that piece ever since. Anyone else remember that one?

    If you do and know where I can find it, please post the url here.

  3. I don't remember it. Maybe it had to do with medicalizing as opposed to decriminalizing?

  4. Is it this one?


    Balko linked to it this morning.

  5. If pot were legal and heavily taxed, there'd be a black market in untaxed pot--just as there is for cigarettes now.

    Of course, it would considerably scale back the drug war insofar as they'd no longer be going after personal possession or snooping to see if you were growing it on your own property.

    But even then, I'm afraid they'd still come up with some kind of "sick chicken" ruling to restrict growing it outside the regulatory system.


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