How Costly Is Marijuana Going To Be?

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
September 6, 2018

Cities like Merced and Atwater are already counting on how much money they are going to bring in from businesses who manufacture, sell and distribute recreational marijuana. Have they calculated all the expenses?

In a report put out by the California Highway Patrol, the number of marijuana-related accidents and other incidents has more than doubled, and that is with the amount of marijuana now available. If marijuana becomes even more available then what will happen?

There is an additional problem, and that is the California Highway Patrol really has no way to accurately measure the amount of marijuana in the body of the driver.

DUI counts are already on overload. Can they handle any additional people who are brought in because they are driving under the influence of marijuana?

One person connected to UC Merced was asked how they felt about the increase in use of marijuana. He replied, “Do we really need another way to dumb down our populace?”

Oftentimes the use of marijuana is compared to the drinking of alcohol, and since alcohol is being allowed for those over 21 years old, then marijuana will be no different. The problem is that marijuana is also considered a gateway drug that can lead to much more dangerous drugs and pills.

Having special taxes for marijuana may cover some of the city’s expense, however, the city’s police force is already behind the curve when it comes to law enforcement. It really can’t handle a higher level of crime or addiction.

There are already waiting lines for rehab clinics. Will many people in need of treatment do without? Would an increase in marijuana use contribute to homelessness or vagrancy? It is just one of the unknown factors. Can California afford to find out?

Some people would say that this is the wrong time to debate the right or wrong of marijuana use as a recreational drug. The voters have decided. Well, laws can be changed just as they are enacted, and these new state and local rules related to marijuana are no exception.

There is some question about allowing every community to adopt its own laws for businesses which sell marijuana. If it is cheaper to sell marijuana in one city, will it effect the businesses which sell the same product in an adjacent city?

Stories have been run in the newspaper about there being no limit on marijuana being ordered from one city and delivered to another city in California, perhaps many miles away. So cities like Merced and Atwater hoping to get sales tax on marijuana sales, may be surprised at how little they actually make because of outside the city sales to local residents.

We feel there are far too many unknown factors involved in the marijuana trade for our cities to start counting on the extra dollars in the general fund.


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