Taxing the Sick: The State Assembly Plan to Tax Pharmaceuticals
Look I know that "medical marijuana" is for many a Trojan Horse, and the real goal is to legalize marijuana use for the purpose of getting high. And as a means to raise revenues to be redistributed to those who control the New York State legislature. That is, after all, where the lottery money eventually went.
Even so, I can't help but note the hypocrisy of putting a 10% tax on "medical marijuana" in the State Assembly budget, as reported by Crain's. Are not healing drugs for sick people exempt from sales taxes in this state? If so there should be no additional revenues if the marijuana is "medical." In fact, unless more people spent more time getting high, there could be less revenue as highly taxed alcohol users switch to tax-exempt pot. (The same may be said for legalizing wine in food stores -- no additional drinking, no additional revenues).
Basically, having sold out the future to benefit their friends, state legislators are desperate for revenue any way they can get it. "Sin taxes" are a way to gain revenues with the least political objections. Of course only certain sins are taxed, given that our politicians mostly represent the self interest of sinners.
Gambling was supposed to be the panacea, but once everyone had it the industry became less of a cash cow and no less of a burden. What's next? Official state prostitutes?
How about a real debate on the relative negative consequences of various recreational drugs, not to mention the relative benefits of various medical drugs we all end up paying for? Without more money for the political class to spend on itself and its friends being the driving force. We'll never see any of the money. The State Assembly proposal has just 15 percent of the alleged revenue going to local governments.
I've said that after Generation Greed, represented in the state legislature to the exclusion of everyone else, gets though with us, all my generation and those after will get in old age is medical marijuana followed by legal assisted suicide. Not Medicare and Social Security. So I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, if smoking pot grown at home might substitute for more expensive but no more useful services from the health care industry as people age. (And by the way, I've never inhaled except second hand or done anything like it, but at age 80 I might be willing to try if it would help). But lets drop the money grubbing hypocrisy.