Pubdate: Thu, 22 May 2014
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Steven P. Epstein


Why is it when it comes to marijuana you blindly adopt the liberal 
spendthrift claim "the state needs the revenue" when the truth is the 
preservation of our property and liberty depends upon the electorate 
being vigilant to insure the Legislature be frugal.

Substance abuse treatment is a worthy recipient of revenue and better 
arguments for applying the old 5 percent sales tax (not the 6.25 
percent sales tax passed in 2009) to marijuana and other products not 
exempt under current law made. You just did not make them.

Your blind acceptance of the peer pressure by the example of other 
states is not part of a good argument. Nor is your acceptance of the 
claims of those who benefit directly or indirectly from revenue taken 
from the people that marijuana is a "gateway drug."

The best argument, though one I am not yet persuaded, would be to 
repeal the state's unjust and unwise prohibition on adults engaging 
in the cultivation of cannabis and commerce in all its products. The 
savings in law enforcement expenditures would translate into more 
time spent enforcing other laws. Those engaged in the commerce would 
pay income taxes and collect the sales tax.

Your thinking is the type John Adams warned against when, in 1774, 
over the penname Novanglus, he wrote:

"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim 
which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people 
give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them 
so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the 
encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every 
day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and 
faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners 
urge for more revenue."


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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom