Pubdate: Wed, 23 Dec 2015
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Copyright: 2015 The Ukiah Daily Journal
Author: D.E. Johnson


To the Editor:

After reading several articles on the implementation of Marijuana 
Regulation (UDJ 21 & 22 Nov and PD 22 & 23 Nov) my earlier letter on 
the topic (UDJ 22-Oct) seems to have been spot on. The State of 
California's interest is in never ending quest for new sources of 
revenue from taxes and permit fees. With these new monies, they 
promise to fund things they have not adequately funded in the past 
(like roads and mental health) and likely have no intention to 
adequately fund in the future.

The State has created a bureaucratic maze in which they think growers 
which currently operate with a cash only backpocket accounting system 
will understand and gladly embrace. The growers will need to pay fees 
to legally establish their businesses as well as to transport their product.

They will need formal payroll systems for their employees in order to 
deduct state, federal income taxes, and payroll taxes.

They will also need to file state and federal income tax returns and 
carry insurance policies of many kinds.

Does anyone really think this is going to happen if the growers have 
been successful operating as they have before?

State Senator McGuire is introducing a bill that will establish a 
special 15% statewide retail sales tax on marijuana sold in 
dispensaries in addition to the current 8% sales tax. Does anyone 
really think with all of these business obligations, with extra taxes 
and fees piled on, there won't be needed the same level of law 
enforcement activity to ensure compliance?

Again, I am not a user, not an advocate for using, and am not in the 
supply chain and have no desire to be. My motivate is to reduce crime 
associated with marijuana as well as make our wild lands safe for 
loggers, hunters, hikers, and naturalists. I think that if marijuana 
is legalized, the street price will drop such that cartels, gangs and 
other nefarious characters will no longer see this business as 
'economic' thereby reducing crime and insecurity in our communities. 
There will certainly be an uptick in addiction related issues, but 
would we rather have more personal freedom with personal consequences 
or a tyrannical nanny state?

- - D.E. Johnson, Ukiah
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