Pubdate: Fri, 23 May 2014
Source: Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL)
Copyright: 2014 The Ledger
Author: Brian Rosengger


Editorial columnist Andres Oppenheimer's opinion on Uruguay's decision
to not tax marijuana ["Uruguay Is Wrong About Not Taxing Pot," May 9]
reflects a narrow, capitalistic approach to a highly complex issue.

The idea behind Uruguay's legalization is that when the veil of
prohibition is lifted the stigma is released and usage decreases.
Government taxation of marijuana via the IMSEI tax would send the
wrong message: that government is indirectly advocating the sale of
marijuana because of the potential benefits from tax revenue.

Oppenheimer's views echo too familiarly with much of what is heard on
Capitol Hill: If I can't make a buck off it, what's the point?

Furthermore, President Jose Mujica has been labeled as the "poorest
president in the world," and lives sensibly in a one-bedroom cottage
and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle. He donates a large portion of his
salary to charity, advocates recycling and promotes the use of
renewable energy.

At the U.N. conference in Rio de Janeiro he railed against the "blind
obsession" with achieving growth through greater consumption.

This quote from Mujica exemplifies the difference between American
politics and Mujica's experimental politicking in Uruguay: "Contemporary
politics is all about short-term pragmatism. We have abandoned religion
and philosophy =C2=85. What we have left is the automatization of doing w
the market tells us." Mujica for president 2016!


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MAP posted-by: Matt