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Thread: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

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    John Schnatter 2012 Phantom's Avatar
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    Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Evans' "Act to Regulate and Tax the Cannabis Industry" calls for the legal sale of marijuana by licensed vendors, who, along with growers and distributors, would be overseen by a state Cannabis Control Board. The board would have seven part-time paid members appointed by the governor.

    Under the bill, cannabis could be sold in quantities of one ounce, in sealed containers that identify the grower and the grade and include a warning about driving under the influence. ( The bill would have no effect on existing laws about driving while impaired. ) Buyers would have to be at least 21 years old, and sales via vending machines would be prohibited. The pot could not contain additives, or be part of a beverage or snack food.

    Small-scale "backyard" growers would not be taxed or regulated, in the same way home beer brewers are not regulated by state alcohol laws. Indeed, the bill bears a strong resemblance to the laws that regulate alcohol sales in the state.

    Evans' bill would also impose a steep excise tax on marijuana sales, ranging from $150 to $250 per ounce, depending on its grade ( the amount of Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, it contains ).

    That last provision is especially relevant given the current dismal state of Massachusetts' economy. Regulating and taxing marijuana could have significant fiscal benefits for the commonwealth, supporters contend. A much-cited 2003 study by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron concluded that legalizing pot would save Massachusetts $120.6 million a year, the cost of arresting and prosecuting people on marijuana charges. ( That figure was often pointed to by supporters of Question 2, the 2008 ballot question that decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. ) Miron's report also found that legalization could generate almost $17 million a year in tax revenue for the state.
    Full article: NORML.ORG US MA: Legalize It?


    A YouTube video is also available highlighting some of the testimonies given to the committee.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOSpaNmUB8"]YouTube - Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Hearing, State House, 10.14.2009[/ame]

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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Sounds like a good plan, the question on everyone's mind of course will the Feds jackboot their way all over it?
    Jackboots always come in matched pairs, a left boot and a right boot.

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    John Schnatter 2012 Phantom's Avatar
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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Sounds like a good plan, the question on everyone's mind of course will the Feds jackboot their way all over it?
    I'm hoping not.

    The last thing we need in these economic times are for the DEA to use all our resources "invading" a state. I wouldn't doubt it if some federal elected Republicans throw their fiscal conservative values out the window to justify such a raid, but the citizens of Massachusetts and state elected officials would be pretty pissed at the Obama administartion if it happened.

    Obama doesn't seem to be too hard on Marijuana enforcement though, but who knows.

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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
    Obama doesn't seem to be too hard on Marijuana enforcement though, but who knows.
    Raids are still happening on his watch, which simply can be stopped via an executive order.
    Jackboots always come in matched pairs, a left boot and a right boot.

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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Nice to see this bill is getting a committee meeting.

    It seems they changed the tax rate from $250/oz to a sliding scale of $150 - $250/oz depending on THC content. The tax still seems excessive though.

    I hope the legislation still includes the language that allows for evaluation and adjustments to the tax rate if the purported goal of substantially reducing the black market while milking maximum tax revenue is not attained. Otherwise I fear that greed will turn this into a very ineffective piece of legislation.

    A key aspect to the tax and regulate scheme is taxing so that there is still no room for the black market to exist.

    A $150/oz tax for low THC mj does not accomplish that if you can get an ounce on the street for as much if not less than the tax itself.

    Also.. testing THC content is an expensive procedure, and not entirely accurate, it is very dependent on numerous variables including amount of THC laden trichomes (crystals) on the sample, maturity, exposure to rough handling, light, heat, ect. this is something that is very easily manipulated and a lab generated THC percentage may not necessarily be indicative of the THC percentage of the product as a whole.
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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    Nice to see this bill is getting a committee meeting.

    It seems they changed the tax rate from $250/oz to a sliding scale of $150 - $250/oz depending on THC content. The tax still seems excessive though.

    I hope the legislation still includes the language that allows for evaluation and adjustments to the tax rate if the purported goal of substantially reducing the black market while milking maximum tax revenue is not attained. Otherwise I fear that greed will turn this into a very ineffective piece of legislation.

    A key aspect to the tax and regulate scheme is taxing so that there is still no room for the black market to exist.

    A $150/oz tax for low THC mj does not accomplish that if you can get an ounce on the street for as much if not less than the tax itself.

    Also.. testing THC content is an expensive procedure, and not entirely accurate, it is very dependent on numerous variables including amount of THC laden trichomes (crystals) on the sample, maturity, exposure to rough handling, light, heat, ect. this is something that is very easily manipulated and a lab generated THC percentage may not necessarily be indicative of the THC percentage of the product as a whole.

    Wow, $250 an ounce? How many joints are in one ounce? Standard size

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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    Raids are still happening on his watch, which simply can be stopped via an executive order.
    This is mostly the DEA trying to milk as much wiggle room as possible within the framework of "so long as there is a violation of BOTH state and federal law"

    Regardless of their orders and administration..the DEA is still made up of the same career personnel with the same beliefs and agenda as was present in the last administration, only now they feel they are hamstrung to a degree so they try to get as much play in what little slack they have.

    They will do whatever they can to find reason to conduct these raids.. regardless of how shaky or shallow their presented violation of state law is, they have staked their careers out in doing just that.
    Last edited by marduc; 10-15-09 at 10:40 PM.
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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    Quote Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
    Wow, $250 an ounce? How many joints are in one ounce? Standard size
    I did not realize they had introduced international standards on joint sizes

    Even at $150/oz there is no room for profit, and no room to undercut the prices of the low grade marijuana on the black market.

    What we will see with the current tax rate is a heavily taxed super high THC product for legal consumption, and a thriving black market that will continue to supply tons of low grade mexican on the streets untaxed at $100 - $150/oz
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    John Schnatter 2012 Phantom's Avatar
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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    I too hope they amend this bill to lower the proposed tax on it. Right now the goal should be to get this stuff off the street and into a controlled market. They will have time to get their tax money later.

    If they start the plan with a high tax, there will still be an underground market for it and people like Bill O'Reilly will say "See, legalization doesn't work!"

    Starting with a tax of about $25-40 per ounce would be great. After some time, they could gradually increase it.
    Last edited by Phantom; 10-16-09 at 12:40 AM.

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    Re: Massachusetts to [possibly] Regulate Cannabis!

    YAY! to Massachusetts for being a role model for the rest of the country.

    But that tax is WAAAAAY too high.

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