Friday, December 26, 2003

Three entrepreneurial young people were arrested in England this week for running, according to the BBC, what police believe to be the first website in the UK allegedly designed to sell illegal drugs over the internet. However, a subsequent report from The National Business Review in New Zealand suggests that this was not an isolated enterprise.

Exotic as it sounds, a search of the web reveals hundreds of websites engaged in what appears to be the online sale of marijuana. For a sample index, click here.

I don't know if any of these sites are actually selling real cannabis but the number of them say something about the demand for this herb. There are millions of users out there and only thousands of us actively working for sane policy. It's time for the silent consumers to speak up and demand the same change, if only on the grounds of fiscal responsibility. The money being drained from municipal budgets for programs designed to suppress cannabis cultivation could be so easily be translated into revenues by legalization and taxation.

Quote of the day goes to a 1994 NORML study by Dale Gieringer, on that subject.:

Table 2

Economic Benefits of Cannabis Legalization

Excise Taxes $2.2 - $6.4 Billion
Sales Taxes $0.2 - $1.3 Billion
Enforcement Savings $6 - $9 Billion
Hemp Industry $6 - $10 Billion
Others: Spinoff industries, Reduced hard-drug and alcohol abuse

That kind of money, restored to the municipal budgets of our nation's struggling communities would pay for a lot of teachers, firefighters and improvements to our aging infrastructures.


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