Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hey George Soros, Stay Out of the Marijuana Debate

Billionaire George Soros has an Op-Ed in today's WSJ in favor of California's Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana. He makes a number of relevant points:

The racial inequities that are part and parcel of marijuana enforcement policies cannot be ignored. African-Americans are no more likely than other Americans to use marijuana but they are three, five or even 10 times more likely—depending on the city—to be arrested for possessing marijuana. I agree with Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP, when she says that being caught up in the criminal justice system does more harm to young people than marijuana itself. Giving millions of young Americans a permanent drug arrest record that may follow them for life serves no one's interests.

Racial prejudice also helps explain the origins of marijuana prohibition. When California and other U.S. states first decided (between 1915 and 1933) to criminalize marijuana, the principal motivations were not grounded in science or public health but rather in prejudice and discrimination against immigrants from Mexico who reputedly smoked the "killer weed."

Who most benefits from keeping marijuana illegal? The greatest beneficiaries are the major criminal organizations in Mexico and elsewhere that earn billions of dollars annually from this illicit trade—and who would rapidly lose their competitive advantage if marijuana were a legal commodity. Some claim that they would only move into other illicit enterprises, but they are more likely to be weakened by being deprived of the easy profits they can earn with marijuana.
But, Soros is the ultimate meddler in society, so he can't sit still with letting freedom reign. He wants to tax users of the weed:
Regulating and taxing marijuana would simultaneously save taxpayers billions of dollars in enforcement and incarceration costs, while providing many billions of dollars in revenue annually.
Weed users really don't need Soros' manipulative help. With Soros around, through taxes, weed will eventually cost more legalized than it does now on the black market. Beware of billionaire manipulators bearing freedoms.Whether its Soros, Warren Buffett or the Koch brothers, there isn't a true freedom lover among them. There's always a price tag.

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