Another Way to Help Erase Washington's Budget Shortfall: Legalize and Tax Marijuana


somebody has to be the first state to legalize...why not us?

I prefer a state owned auto insurance. Those fuckers make billions.
Won't happen for another decade.
Well, let's come back to reality - as has been made clear on numerous occasions, full on legalization requires the federal government to be on board in some fashion. California has managed to get around this with their Med-Pot statute, basically allowing anyone to get marijuana for any reason.

So, expand what's allowed for a MD note, regulate and tax growers (distributors) and dispensaries, and reduce the offense for possession without a note to a civil fine. Hell, even expand the sales tax to the weed. King County's capacity problem becomes worse (which is a good thing), statewide there's less money spent on police, courts, jails, temporary holding facilities, etc. etc. And hippies can stop having hempfest! Everybody wins!
Don't forget to add in how much money you'd save by not having to replace all those doors the cops kicked in.
Add this to what the State could make by legalizing slots, renegotiating the compact with the Tribes, privatizing and auctioning licenses for retail liquor sales, allowing drinking in strip clubs, and getting rid of closing times, and you're getting close to $2billion.

The difference of course is that everything I mention has been done or is already legal in many other states, even neighboring states like Oregon.

Eli - would love to see you take on this issue so The Stranger isn't represented by just Goldy's slog post.
Light up for Higher Ed.

(actually vaporizing is a better choice ...)
Meinert @6,

You overestimate the amount of revenue the state could make from a massive expansion of gambling and liquor consumption, and you underestimate the direct and indirect costs to taxpayers associated with the corresponding increase in problem gambling and alcohol abuse. I'll throw some numbers your way tomorrow on KUOW.

Marijuana is different, as there's already a nearly unfettered black market, and most studies show that consumption and abuse would only increase modestly in response to controlled legalization. And ironically, as I've previously proposed, the very state store system you seek to shut down already provides the perfect infrastructure for controlling the legal sale of marijuana while generating substantial revenues for the state.
I skimed the the bill and it has 1 point that I would change. Low grade stuff for $2.60 a gram? How about a $5 $10 $15 graduated scale. And I think that assumtion that %33 of consumers will buy dirt weed is way off. More like %5. Maybe %40-%50 mid range and %40-$50 will go for the Ganja.....
raising the money is only half the story, saving the money on prosecution is at least half the economic picture here ;-)
Fuck legalizing it, I love not having to pay taxes on the drug of my choice. Maybe if I become cynical enough, and refuse to ever be apart of the community, the community will become to hate me, and want to do the opposite of the things I do. Fucking hipsters. Anyway, keep it illegal, don't force me to pay taxes on it, I'd really rather my money go to the people growing it, and not the mega-corporations that will exploit the fuck out of it, and in the end ruin it. Pot won't be cool if you make it legal, so please stop, and get rid of this government thing too, it's really stupid and it's better when it doesn't have any money. More for me bitches.
It is not true that the federal government needs to be on board. We all need to take a look at how we overcame alcohol prohibition. The federal government did not repeal prohibition until 1933, but by 1925, half a dozen states, including New York, passed laws banning local police from investigating prohibition violations. They basically decriminalized it at the state level. This is what needs to happen! The initiative we are working to get on the Washington ballot this year does just this. There are a number of other states putting their version on the ballot in 2012. Once this is done at the state level the feds will be put in the same position they were in 1933. They will have no other alternative other than repeal of the fed law.