Legalization

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United States: States High on Pot Tax as Budget Cure

The color of money may soon turn a new shade of green as U.S. states across the country consider legalizing and then taxing marijuana to cure chronic budget problems.

By Kim Dixon and Lisa Lambert, WASHINGTON

United States: States High on Pot Tax as Budget Cure California came the closest to taxing tokes last week by putting an initiative on its November ballot. The top marijuana-producing state could raise $1.3 billion annually, according to the California Board of Equalization, which collects taxes.

As the state struggles to close its multibillion dollar deficit, supporters say the legalization fight will be close, though the scope of potential conflicts with federal law is uncertain.

"If you can tax it, it's just one more way to make money for the government," said Linsey Isaacs, a 20-year-old rental agent in New York City, who does not smoke marijuana. "To me it's better than cigarettes, healthwise, and if they can tax cigarettes, then I don't see anything wrong with taxing marijuana."

California's current budget gap may be large at $20 billion, but it is not unique, and the outcome will be closely watched. The National Governors Association says the recession will not end in some states until 2012.

As California moves closer to a vote on the legalizing marijuana, which most states banned in the 1930s, the push is finding backers for different reasons.

North America: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Calls for an Open Debate on Legalization of Marijuana

Fox speaks out about responsibility, collaboration, and legalization as a solution to the drug war raging in North and South America

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Will the debate about the legalization and regulation of marijuana finally come to a breaking point? Will we actually see the freedom of choice to consume Cannabis restored? Not only are United States leaders beginning to talk drug law reform, but now the Latin American leaders are joining with the discussion. According to CNN, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and other members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy have called for a renewed conversation between the United States and Mexico about the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Realizing that the "drug war" is raging and the escalating violence is not the way to continue, Fox wants to move the way of American alcohol prohibition and re-legalize marijuana, taking the power out of the hands of the black market.

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