No one expects the Herald to endorse the repeal of marijuana
prohibition and its replacement with a legal framework in which
adults may responsibly cultivate the plant and engage in commercial
activities ("The fine print on marijuana," April 20). So the polemic
The Herald doubts the proposal will eliminate a black market, based
upon the experience in other states. But in those cases legalization
has entailed both excessive taxes and compliance costs.
The Herald also complains that there is no "pot tax" in the draft
law. Its silence on that topic means that sales would be subject to
the 6.25 percent sales tax (though under some circumstances it may
fall within one or more of the exemptions to that tax). Suppression
of the black market may require imposing a lower excise tax, perhaps,
a fixed-rate tax per unit similar to Massachusetts ' current tax on
alcoholic beverages, collected by producers, surprisingly among the
lowest in the nation.
Marvin Cable, Northampton