The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

A smoking proposition

Legalization of marijuana is financially sound

Many students have a special affinity for today, April 20. While some may be thinking that it’s because today is the first day of the Taurus astrological cycle, Ed Board’s thinking about something a little more green-and smoky.

While debate on the origins of 420 runs rampant online, Ed Board is going with the explanation on the High Times Web site.

Steven Hager, editor of the marijuana magazine, claims a group of high school students from San Rafael High School met every day after school at 4:20 p.m. and used the number as a secret code, so students could talk about marijuana in front of their parents and teachers.

While students may take this opportunity to skip class and partake in herbal pleasure, Ed Board wants to celebrate 420 by taking a serious look at the issue surrounding the legalization of this highly controversial drug.

Ed Board wants marijuana legalized and heavily taxed.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Web site says, “The societal costs of propagandizing against marijuana and marijuana law reform, funding anti-marijuana ‘science,’ interdicting marijuana, eradicating domestically grown marijuana and industrial hemp, law enforcement, prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana smokers costs U.S. taxpayers in excess of $12 billion annually.”

If marijuana were legalized, it could be taxed in the same way other legal drugs, mainly alcohol and tobacco, are, and the government could make some green off the green.

In addition to the influx of tax revenue, legalizing the drug would eliminate the need to spend billions stopping people from smoking pot.

Those who profit from marijuana would be forced to pay income tax on their earnings, because they would be dealing in a legal industry, further increasing tax revenue.

For those who choose to smoke marijuana, legalization would provide higher quality product at lower costs.

Modern high-tech agricultural techniques that are used for legal farm products could be used for marijuana, creating better bud.

Marijuana is expensive now because of the premium associated with its illegality. Removing that danger lowers the production costs, even with a high tax.

All of these tax benefits don’t even include the boost in sales the snack food industry would surely see if marijuana were legal.

Ed Board feels marijuana’s effects are no different than a cigarette or alcohol buzz. We have laws in place to protect those who choose not to use these drugs and hold users accountable when they endanger themselves and others while under the influence. Those same laws could encompass legal marijuana as well, thus protecting those who abuse the privilege of smoking.

No drug is completely safe, but used responsibly marijuana is safe enough. People should have the freedom to choose for themselves whether to use marijuana.

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