The Legitimacy of Taxes

Today’s New York Times has a story about Oakland, California passing a “huge tax increase – 15 times the former rate” on medical marijuana. Members of the pot industry see this as a further step towards legalization of marijuana.  From 1862 on, the liquor industry accepted federal taxation in exchange for the recognition of their business as legitimate. During Prohibition,  Jacob Ruppert and other brewers argued for a return to legal production of alcohol for  tax benefits. Repeal occurred in part because of the desire of very wealthy Americans to avoid personal tax increases during the Great Depression. California has a huge budget crisis.  Oakland will raise $300,000 from the tax increase. The need of governments for steady, stable sources of revenue often triumphs over moral concerns.

marijuana plant

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