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Thursday, February 16, 2006
Marijuana: Top Ten Commodity in Washington State
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:20 pm

Via the San Diego Union-Tribune Washington marijuana harvest sets dubious record

Law enforcement officers harvested a dubious record last year: enough marijuana plants to rank the illegal weed as Washington state’s No. 8 agricultural commodity, edging sweet cherries in value.

The 135,323 marijuana plants seized in 2005 were estimated to be worth $270 million – a record amount that places the crop among the state’s top 10 agricultural commodities, based on the most recent statistics available.

And just think of the the tax revenues and the money into the legitimate economy (not to mention the dollars spent on law enforcement that would be saved) if you let the goofballs who want to smoke the stuff, smoke the stuff…

Filed under: War on Drugs | |Send TrackBack


  1. Yes. Yes. And prostitution too. Let’s face it guys are go a-whoring anyway. The government might as well get some money out it. Then there’s meth and coke. And you know, New Jersey could probably balance its budget just by taxing the mob.

    Comment by Remy Logan — Friday, February 17, 2006 @ 12:40 am

  2. And they’d all go drink beer and whiskey too and get drunk and stuff.

    Oh, wait. That’s legal.

    And I don’t recall writing anything about meth in this post. And as far as prostitution is concerned (which I didn’t mention either), while I find it morally repugnant, I am not entirely sure why the government should care.

    For the record, I am not, and never have been a marijuana user. However, I really don’t see the logic for spending the money that we do to stop its usage. What really is the fundamental difference between it and whiskey consumption?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, February 17, 2006 @ 6:21 am

  3. No, you didn’t mention meth, or prostitution, or any of the other things I listed. I was extrapolating and using shorthand to illustrate my slippery slope argument.

    I disagree with the Libertarian attitude towards drugs and other *victimless crimes* and was trying to make that point. I agree that the war on drugs is not doing a good job. I am old enough to know that any program that starts out with “War on” or whose head is called a “czar” is a boondoggle at best. But, just because the government’s program is wrong doesn’t mean we should tax or legalize the activity. And, I agree that just because the activity is illegal doesn’t mean people should be spending 20 years in prison because they had a joint under the seat (which I think is an urban myth).

    I normally ignore your “just legalize it already posts.” What got me about this post was the “tax it” thing. I don’t like school budgets being balanced with Lotto money, or detox programs being funded with whiskey taxes. In my personal life I have seen family members destroyed by alcohol and good friends destroyed by the weed. The tax issue raises questions about 30 pieces of silver and all that. The government ceases to care about the negative impact of the activity and instead becomes a promoter of the activity (e.g., the tobacco settlement).

    “What really is the fundamental difference between it and whiskey consumption?” I am not articulate enough to be able to answer that. Other than that to me there is. I used to work with at-risk kids. Some in juvenile hall, others in juvenile prison. Most however, were still just on the kind of path that would lead to incarceration. There was a difference between kids who were *just* drinking and had dabbled in drug experimentation and those who were hard core drug/marijuana users. I am not trying to imply a cause and effect relationship here, but am leading to a different point. The extent of drug usage was a measure of the extent of their problems. While alcohol and drug usage caused problems, it was other problems that led them to usage and abuse. The kids who could not see that drug and alcohol abuse were wrong were the ones who didn’t have success in the program. The others went on to getting their high school diplomas, getting jobs, and even going on to college.

    Legalizing marijuana, or cocaine or meth isn’t going to solve the kids’ or society’s problems. Neither is taxing these things. And neither is locking up non-violent users and throwing away the key. (Which is why I was a volunteer in the at-risk program. I am not just an armchair moralist.) Which brings me to my point about the mob. While taxing the “families” will surely increase revenue and save us a ton of money on law enforcement (yes, I know that Al Capone was finally brought down because of tax evasion); it will do nothing to provide for healthy communities where people are able to work and strive to fulfill their potential. Neither will legalizing or taxing drugs or marijuana.

    Besides, we all know that increased tax revenue leads to increased government (and more taxes).

    In summary, yes, let’s find a different way to deal with the problems of abuse other than a *war* (oddly enough it’s the libs who gave us the term). But, taxing our problems won’t make our problems go away.

    Finally, in reading my original comment I realize my quick-and-witty remark came off as snarky and condescending. I didn’t mean for it to come across that way. You run a classy blog that I enjoy reading (and disagreeing with in so many ways). I apologize for slinging a bit of mud on to your blog.

    Comment by Remy Logan — Friday, February 17, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

  4. Remy,

    I had written a lengthy response to your comment, whcich was swallowed whole by a server glitch. I don’t have time to rewrite it. I hate it when that happens…

    One quick thing: I mentioned taxes because anything sold in the legit economy is taxes, whether it is bubble gum, black cherries or Jack Daniels. I don’t think that taxation is a reason to legalize, but is, nonethless, a byproduct of legalization.

    And Nixon was the one who declared “war” on drugs in 1969.

    At any rate: my thanks for your comment and readership.



    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, February 18, 2006 @ 8:33 am

  5. I was thinking of Johnson and his War on Poverty. What a quagmire that turned out to be.

    Comment by Remy Logan — Sunday, February 19, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

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