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
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.