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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: Editorial: Still Profitable, But Not Taxed
Title:US CA: Editorial: Still Profitable, But Not Taxed
Published On:2012-01-05
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Fetched On:2012-01-06 06:01:34

Someone is benefiting from the federal crackdown on medical-marijuana
dispensaries: black-market pot growers and dealers.

According to a recent report by the Center for Investigative
Reporting's California Watch, prices for high-grade, outdoor-grown
marijuana, after slumping precipitously in 2010, have risen by 20 to
40 percent since four U.S. attorneys began cracking down on
medical-cannabis growers and dispensaries and threatening them with
prosecution. For those growers willing to risk arrest by doing
business on the black market, this is welcome news. Prices that were
as low as $1,000 a pound have risen as high as $2,500 a pound, making
business potentially much more profitable.

That's good for these growers and dealers, as long as they don't get
caught. But for legitimate medical-marijuana suppliers and their
customers, it's a disaster. For the patients, it's become harder and
more expensive to obtain their medicine. And for the legitimate
medical-marijuana growers, it's a case of misplaced priorities that
is destroying businesses and costing jobs.

If the goal was to force marijuana growing and sales back into
full-blown criminality, it's working. The real question is how well
it's working for the people of the state-and for the government
coffers that aren't earning any taxes on the sale and distribution of
illegal cannabis.

We need common sense and consistency in our marijuana laws, and it's
past time for state lawmakers and officials to get involved. Contact
your state representatives and urge them to take a stand on behalf of
a sensible marijuana policy-one that keeps people out of jail and on
the tax rolls.
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