Colorado’s Marijuana Tax Revenue likely to fall over time like New York’s Cigarette Tax Revenue

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

States with huge budget deficits are watching Colorado and their marijuana sales tax.  As they consider following Colorado.  The proponents of marijuana decriminalization point to Colorado and say, “See?  Make it legal and tax it.  And everybody wins.  People can smoke until they get lung cancer.  And the state can rack up tax revenue to pay for, of course, schools.  It’s always schools, you see, because if you oppose tax revenue for schools you hate children.  And taxing sin is good, too.  Because we shouldn’t be doing those nasty things anyway.  So sin taxes work.  Just look at how well those cigarette taxes are working (see As taxes on cigarettes go up, so does smuggling, study finds posted 3/22/2014 on FoxNews Politics).

More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

According to the non-partisan research group, increased excise taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking have, in fact, created lucrative incentives for black market trafficking between states…

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, even though authorities have taken steps to reduce cigarette smuggling, nearly $5 billion in revenue in 2010 was lost because of smuggling.

Well, as it turns out, sin taxes don’t work as well as they thought they would.  They increase crime.  Because smuggling cigarettes is less risky than smuggling class one narcotics.  For cigarettes aren’t illegal.  So criminals can turn from something more risky, like smuggling class one narcotics, to something less risky.  Smuggling legal cigarettes.  Tax revenue from Colorado’s marijuana tax will probably decline over time.  As a black market comes to Colorado to sell tax-free marijuana.  Just like a black market sells lower-taxed cigarettes in higher taxed cities.

So you have additional crime on the one hand.  A black market drug-dealer network much like what exists today.  But one that can operate in less fear as the penalty for getting caught is a lot less than what it used to be.  Making it easier for our kids to smoke marijuana.  Either by buying it from a better supplied illegal drug dealer.  Or stealing some from their parent’s stash.  Or someone else’s stash.  For there will be a lot of stashes to steal from.

So the crime element is bad.  But as the black market takes off tax revenue will fall from legal sales.  Just like it has for cigarettes.  Leaving an over-spending state still short of tax revenue.  But now with a marijuana black market that they must police.  And a state full of potheads that will likely NOT help the state produce the best and brightest for the high-tech jobs in their economy.  The higher-paying kind of jobs that pay more income taxes.  Because once you have your weed and some cool tunes what do you need a high-stressed job for?  Which will probably make the experiment in Colorado not go as they thought it would.  Something other states should consider before following Colorado down this road.

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A Gun-Less Britain makes Women Easy Prey for Domestic Abuse

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Liberal Democrats want to take away our guns.  In fact they’d like to repeal the Second Amendment.  For people having guns in the household leads to gun crime.  They like to point to Tucson, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.  Crimes they say would not have happened if there were no guns.  Take away the guns and you take away these crimes.  And you make our households safer.  For without guns in the home there is no chance for domestic violence.  There will be no women being shot by angry men.  And no children dying if a parent goes off in a fit of anger and shoots them.  For if there are no guns there can be no violence.  The left believes this.  At least they keep telling us this.

For guns make people kill.  And without guns there will be nothing to make people kill.  Luckily for the British they have no guns in their households.  And live a life of peace and serenity the Americans can only dream about (see Domestic violence puts 10,000 at high risk of death or serious injury by Sandra Laville posted 2/26/2014 on the guardian).

More than 10,000 women and children are at high risk of being murdered or seriously injured by current or former partners, according to police assessments obtained by the Guardian…

But the figures obtained are likely to be an underestimate as domestic violence is heavily under-reported and police forces appear to gather and collate the information in several different ways, despite demands for a national protocol on assessing the risk to victims. The snapshot obtained by the Guardian reveals the acute nature of the threat of domestic violence for thousands of women and children…

Last year a coroner in Derbyshire found that police failures had contributed to the deaths of Rachael Slack and her two-year-old son, who were stabbed to death by her estranged partner. Slack had also been assessed as at high risk of homicide, but officers failed to inform her.

Or maybe not.

The obvious response to stop this domestic violence is to take away knives from British households.  For apparently taking away their guns wasn’t enough.  Then they should probably take away rope from the home.  For they may make someone strangle someone.  Blunt instruments, too.  For they can make people kill, too.  And poisons.  Got to remove them from the home.  Of course a man can beat and choke someone with his bare hands.  So you better get those out of the household, too.

Of course, we have crossed over into the ridiculous.  For it’s not these things that are killing women and children.  It’s the people using them.  And when one is not available they will look for another.  So probably the best way to protect a woman and her children is to give that woman a gun.  For if she has a gun it doesn’t matter how big her attacker is or how big the knife is he is threatening her with.  Because all the strength she needs is that required to pull the trigger.  And the big man with the big knife will fall.  Even if he’s 200 pounds heavier.  And a foot and a half taller.  For there is nothing that empowers a woman more than a gun.

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Foreign Governments warn their people about traveling to Democrat Cities

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 17th, 2013

Week in Review

An anti-capitalist just became the new mayor of New York City.  And it’s got a lot of people nervous.  Not the people who elected him.  But people who do business in the city.  Who came to the city after Mayor Rudy Giuliani cleaned it up.  Making it safe for families to walk the streets again.  And making Times Square the tourist attraction it is today.  Unlike the Seventies.  When prostitution and drugs filled Times Square.  And crime.  Lots and lots of crime.  Some of these business people are worried that New York City might return to what it was like in the Seventies.

Sadly, it is a trend of some of our larger cities to become dangerous.  Even foreign governments are warning their people about some American cities.  And even now those warnings include a much cleaner and safer New York City (see 16 American cities foreign governments warn their citizens about by Reid Wilson posted 11/14/2013 on The Washington Post GovBeat).

Planning a trip abroad? It’s probably best to check out the State Department’s list of travel warnings for countries with unsafe political situations. At the moment, the State Department has issued travel warnings for 34 countries, from the Central African Republic and El Salvador to Iraq and North Korea.

Well, just as State warns Americans about dangerous places to travel, so too do foreign ministries in other countries — and some countries warn their citizens to avoid heading to certain cities in the U.S. France, in particular, warns travelers to be careful in a large number of specific cities.

So what are these cities?  Boston, New York, Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and El Paso.  Notice anything in common with these cities?  That’s right, they’re all Democrat cities.  The kind of cities that don’t have a Rudy Giuliani running them.  A mayor who is tough on crime.  To make their cities family-friendly.  And tourist-friendly.  The kind of city most of us would prefer to live in.  Which we could have if we, apparently, vote Republican.

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Britain may not have a Gun Crime Problem but they have a Knife Crime Problem

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 6th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left believes guns make people commit crimes.  For these people wouldn’t kill anyone if there wasn’t a gun urging them to do so.  Just look at Great Britain.  Gun free.  And crime free (see Man accused of murdering Kieran Crump-Raiswell ‘sniggered’ after stabbing him posted 7/4/2013 on the Manchester Evening News).

A teenage gap-year student was knifed to death in the street in broad daylight by a “laughing” stranger in Manchester, a jury has heard.

Kieran Crump-Raiswell, 18, was heading to look for a job when Imran Hussain, 27, walked up to him and “without warning” stabbed him four times in the chest, Manchester Crown Court was told…

The killing was the second of two street assaults committed on total strangers within 12 days in January.

Mature student Hussain, from Bracknell, Berkshire, drove from his student flat in Coventry on January 4 and punched a man in the face in Nottingham and ran off…

Hussain went on to claim he had been hearing “threatening and abusive voices” and that he travelled to the two cities to confront them.

Apparently there are other ways to kill people besides guns.  As Britain is not crime free.  In fact, Britain has a big problem with knife crime.  Because they took away the people’s guns.  So killers turned to knives.  Proving the point it’s not the weapon that kills people.  It’s the person holding the weapon that kills people.  And taking away guns didn’t change that.  And it won’t change that in the United States.  As killers will just choose a different weapon to kill with.  Like they have in Britain.

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Methadone Overdoses kill more Teens and Young Adults than Guns Do

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 10th, 2013

Week in Review

Colorado and Washington have recently decriminalized marijuana.  Pot shops can now legally sell marijuana without violating state law.  They are still violating federal law but the Obama administration has stated that they won’t prosecute recreational users in those states.  Even the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) is looking to organize these pot shops.  It seems everyone wants to cash in on greater drug use.  And why not?  What could possibly go wrong with that (see Drug Users Turn Death Dealers as Methadone From Bain Hits Street by Sydney P. Freedberg posted 2/8/2013 on Bloomberg)?

While the number of U.S. overdose deaths involving methadone peaked in 2007, it was still almost six times higher in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, than in 1999.  The data don’t reflect the source of the methadone—whether it’s addiction clinics or pain prescriptions.  More than one drug might be involved in each death.

So how many overdose deaths where there in 2010?  About 4,500.  More than the 3,889 dead from firearms in 2010 for ages 15-24.  Common ages for drug addiction.  So to stop these needless deaths we should do everything we can to prevent drug addiction.  From keeping addictive opiates illegal.  And any drugs that may serve as a gateway to these harder and more dangerous addictive drugs.  Such as marijuana.   Often the first drug many addicts start with.  We should do everything we can to get these drugs away from our kids.  Even if it only saves one life.  The rational President Obama uses for sweeping changes in gun control laws that many on the Left even concede will not prevent the kinds of tragedies like that in Newtown, Connecticut.  Yet President Obama has stated that he won’t prosecute recreational marijuana users in Colorado and Washington.  Even though more teens and young adults die from drug overdoses than from guns.

In the small towns where CRC has clinics, its methadone has surfaced in criminal cases, police and prosecutors say. Dearborn County, Indiana, officials are planning a $10 million expansion to the local jail, needed partly because of crimes tied to CRC’s clinic in Lawrenceburg, said prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard.

“We’ve had people come down to the methadone clinic and rob a bank because they need money to pay for methadone,” he said. “We’ve had people at the McDonald’s shooting up. Whether it’s dealing or someone giving take-homes to a friend, it’s been a huge problem…”

In Virginia, 3-year-old Trevor Hylton died on Sept. 30, 2009, after drinking methadone that his mother, Lisa Michelle Hylton, said she left on a kitchen counter in a cough-syrup cup.

Not only does drug addiction destroy the lives of the drug addicts but of the people around them.  Those people robbing banks to pay for their legal methadone.  And once they get it they go and shoot up at the local McDonald’s.  Where young and impressionable kids can be found.  It’s a “huge problem.”  Also, a 2-year old died from this legal substance when it was brought into the house.  Clearly something should be done to stop drug use.  Even if it only saves one life.  Because it is  destroying the lives of addicts.  And those around them.

In methadone maintenance treatment, an almost 50-year-old field, drug addicts get daily doses of the synthetic narcotic. In appropriate amounts, it alleviates the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin or other opiates without getting users high. In combination with counseling, methadone can help addicts stay off illegal drugs and live with more stability, research shows.

Counseling is “the backbone of addiction treatment,” said Elinore F. McCance-Katz, a physician who has advised California state officials on treating opiate dependency. Without it, there’s a “good possibility” that patients won’t reduce or stop their drug use, she said.

Once addicted it’s a bitch to kick.  A lot of people fail trying.  Some don’t even try.  As getting high is more fun than trying to get clean.  Further proof that we need to do something to stop drug use.  Even if it saves only one life.

With the Obama administration looking the other way to flagrant violations of federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington and the UFCW helping to decriminalize marijuana to profit off of drug use one has to wonder why anyone cares about a story about methadone addiction.  This is not the kind of story you want to run when you’re trying to ease drug laws to lock in the youth and drug addict vote.  So why is this even in the news?

Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, paid $723 million for CRC in 2006, corporate filings show. Romney, who left Bain in 1999, had no input in its investments or management of companies after that, he has said…

“With a nonprofit, the incentive is to get people to treatment and wean them off,” Bragg said. “When you have a for-profit and cash-only business, there is no incentive to detox them. In fact, there’s an incentive not to detox them because of the continual cash flow.”

Oh, that’s why.  It’s Mitt Romney’s fault.  Of course.  And that contemptible profit incentive.  It’s never the drug addict’s fault.  Or the societal decay that condones drug use.  Because kids are going to be kids.  They’re going to experiment with drugs as much as they will experiment with sex.  No point telling them not to.  Because kids have to be kids.  Besides, who are they hurting?

Virdie Channing Compton, 30, of Council, Virginia, was on methadone maintenance for more than four years at a CRC clinic in Cedar Bluff after opiate abuse that began in his teens, he said in an interview. After a year or two, he was shooting up his take-homes, he said, and abusing other drugs.

“I was strung out” worse than before, Compton said. He beat the clinic’s drug tests, he said, by sneaking in clean urine in a bottle tucked in his underwear.

On June 3, 2011, Compton had gotten his dose at the clinic and was driving through Council in an unlicensed farm truck when he veered into some oncoming motorcycles. He hit William Van Nortwick, a retired teacher from Safety Harbor, Florida, who was traveling with two sons and a friend on vacation.

Van Nortwick died. Tests showed Compton was under the influence of methadone and Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He’s serving a nine- year prison sentence.

Kids can hurt a great deal of people when they grow up into drug addicts.  Would that have happened if Bain Capital didn’t take over these methadone clinics?  Probably not.  As these clinics would have been shut down by the state due to budget problems.  Which is why they were privatized in the first place.  So these people may have survived.  But this guy would have still been a drug addict.  An untreated drug addict.  Who may have continued to work his way up to harder drug use.  And turned to crime to support his habit.  Perhaps even becoming a drug dealer.  Possible taking even more lives in the long run with his untreated addiction.  Maybe sharing needles in a heroin addiction.  Catching and spreading AIDS.  Or simply dying earlier from a drug overdose.

Some states are more stringent than others. Ohio has banned for-profit methadone clinics for decades, after state mental- health advocates and leaders decided addiction care was “more in line with the mission of not-for-profit organizations,” said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

That doesn’t keep CRC from treating Ohio addicts. The company’s East Indiana Treatment Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, saw 2,479 patients in 2011, state records show; only 380 of them were Indiana residents. Almost 45 percent, or 1,111 were from Ohio. Most of the others, 987, were from Kentucky.

Part of the reason for the inflow: Indiana’s rules on take- home doses are more lenient than those in Kentucky or Ohio, said Vidya Kora, a past president of the Indiana State Medical Association. Kora, a LaPorte County commissioner and former coroner, has called for turning all methadone clinic operations over to non-profit agencies.

While Indiana adopted legislation in 2008 aimed at mandating marijuana testing for methadone patients, creating a central registry of patients and decreasing the maximum number of take-home doses to 14 from 30, the rules are still less stringent than others, said state Senator Ron Grooms, a Republican whose southern Indiana district includes a CRC clinic in Jeffersonville.

Apparently using marijuana is a problem for methadone patients.  Do they test for beer and bourbon?  For according to marijuana proponents smoking marijuana is no different from drinking beer or bourbon.

When the Netherlands decriminalized marijuana one of the unintended consequences was the drug tourism that it attracted.  And the crime.  Causing them to later demand proof of residency before buying marijuana in their coffee shops.  The more potent marijuana with higher levels of THC has caused further unintended consequences.  Which they want to prevent the sale of.  Complicating their drug policies.  Something Colorado and Washington will have to deal with.  And the states that are in close proximity to them.

If they kept all drugs illegal there would probably be at least one child less that experiments with marijuana.  And moves on to a heroin addiction and a methadone detoxification.  Shouldn’t we do this?  Even if it only saves one child?

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New Study shows Casual Ecstasy Use causes Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 4th, 2012

Week in Review

It’s a popular drug with the teenagers.  Ecstasy.  It’s a party drug.  But like all drugs use it comes with some unwelcomed side effects (see Study: Casual Ecstasy Use Causes Memory Impairment by Jason Koebler posted 7/30/2012 on U.S. News and World Report).

New users of the rave drug suffered brain damage after as few as 10 doses…

Self-professed “new users of ecstasy”—subjects who refrained from any other drugs besides ecstasy, marijuana and alcohol—were studied over the course of a year. The study found memory impairments in people who used the drug just 10 times over the course of 12 months…

Researchers also said marijuana and alcohol were allowed in the study because it’s too difficult to find people who solely use ecstasy.

So drugs are bad for you.  And marijuana is a gateway drug.  For they had trouble finding people who had only used ecstasy.  Which makes the whole decriminalization of drugs a complicated issue.  Even for ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Which is nothing like those nasty harmful drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.  But if marijuana is a gateway to ecstasy it’s probably a gateway to the harder more harmful drugs, too.  Unless people going along the straight and narrow wake up one day and decide to shoot up heroin.  It could happen.  But it’s not likely to happen.

So bad things follow drug use.  But bad things also happen trying to interdict drug use.  As so much crime is drug-related.  So what to do?  Perhaps a little more religion in our lives would encourage us to choose not to use drugs.  Things tend to work better when it’s our choice.  Going back to our early history we were more religious.  And when we were we didn’t have a drug problem.  But that didn’t stop people from having a good time.  There was church.  Community.  The local saloon.  And, sure, alcoholism.  It may not have been perfect.  But there was less crime.

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Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries attract Drug Addicts and Crime

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 28th, 2012

Week in Review

As if the potheads and college students didn’t have enough troubles.  First it was the Israelis harshing their mellow.  By making a marijuana that does everything medicinally beneficial without getting you high.  And now this.  Soon the potheads and college students will have little reason to get out of bed in the afternoon (see Los Angeles council bans medical marijuana dispensaries by Rory Carroll posted 7/24/2012 on the Guardian).

Los Angeles may soon be off the map as a pot-smoking mecca following a city council vote to ban storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.

The council has voted unanimously in favour of the crackdown after the mayor, the police chief, the city’s attorney office and residents’ groups called for restrictions…

The council decision followed mounting complaints from police and neighbourhood groups that legalisation of medicinal marijuana – which remains legal – spawned seedy stores that peddled weed to recreational users on medical pretexts.

Most were profit-making businesses catering to “healthy young adults” rather than sick people with chronic pain, the LAPD chief, Charlie Beck, said in a letter to the council.

Several council members including Jose Huizar had previously supported the dispensaries but changed their minds after residents complained they attracted drug addicts and crime.

Imagine that.  Healthy young people were buying medical marijuana just to have a good time.  And the proponents of medical marijuana said that wouldn’t happen.

Marijuana enthusiasts in LA are unhappy with these restrictions.  Even those without medical conditions.  Who appear to be using medical marijuana as a backdoor to legalizing marijuana.  The proponents of medical marijuana said that wouldn’t happen, either.

Worse, these marijuana dispensaries were attracting drug users.  And crime.  Because drug users want to buy drugs.  Which takes money.  So drug users steal money to pay for their drugs.  Which apparently hasn’t changed since making marijuana legal to buy in California.  Probably because drug addicts have difficulty in finding a job.  What with their addiction and all.  So they turn to crime to fund their drug needs.  Stealing.  Or prostitution.

So it is easy to understand why people living in the communities with these medical marijuana dispensaries want to close them down.  Because they are in their communities.  People don’t want to live near a bar where people are coming out drunk.  So drunk that they are falling down.  Vomiting.  And urinating in the parking lot.  Or on the streets.  Sure, going to the bar is fun.  But not when that bar is in your neighborhood.  And you have to see the seedier side of fun night after night.  It’s the same with these marijuana dispensaries.  Only it’s worse than public vomiting and urination.  There’re drug addicts.  And crime.  And no one wants that in their neighborhood.

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