We have come a long way since the old days of Marijuana prohibition and it was not that long ago when you could be thrown in the slammer for carrying half-an-ounce of weed, today you can even smoke in certain public spaces and that's a privilege that not many states or countries share, despite this, people still choose to buy the weed illicitly, BUT WHY!?
Well, turns out, since the legalization of Cannabis, taxes on this product have gone up. WAY up. So people still want to stick with the cheap stuff and that is understandable. However, isn't this, what we wanted all along? To get weed legalized, pay taxes for it, but being able to use it legally? I mean, arguably it's way cheaper than paying for bail if you get arrested.
And then there's the people in need, who don't really use it recreationally, but actually need the Cannabis to cope with chronic pain, morbid depression or crippling anxiety, real afflictions that affect millions of Americans every year. Americans who aren't really in the best place economically, such as Jake Heraty, a student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco who had a liver transplant at only six-months-old and survived Hepatoblastoma, a rare cancerous tumor that affects the liver. Heraty suffers from chronic pain resulting from his surgery and uses Medical Cannabis to alleviate this pain. For him, It's not really an option to go without the meds and I'll let him take it from here:
“I don’t like purchasing from the streets, I’d prefer to go to a store and pick out just what I want. You know? But when you have to pay an extra 15 percent in taxes, there’s really no questions. I just can’t afford to throw down 20 extra dollars so the state can get their share of the cannabis market. That extra tax is my dinner.”
Jake Heraty told High Times.
It is clear the system is still broken in fundamental ways, as not only consumers are hit by these taxes, running a Cannabis dispensary or growing Cannabis is also expensive as hell and as a small business, trying to get a loan is like trying to fly by flapping your arms like a bird. Small businesses have loans denied all the time, so owners are forced to try and start the business up on their own and that, in the end affects the end consumer, not to mention has a very high fail rate for small businesses, only wealthy entrepreneurs can really do it.
All these factors push people to seek their weed on the streets or produce/sell it illicitly and this does not sit well with authorities, who have spent millions of dollars trying to crack down on the illicit market but experts say the illicit market is going nowhere anytime soon.
And look, fair enough, if you use Marijuana recreationally, it is fair to get the taxation, just as with booze and cigarettes. However, when you use it medicinally, that's another story. Sometimes you just can't go without it, it's as important as insulin or epilepsy medication, and if anyone deserves a tax cut, it's those people, rather than the filthy-rich slob rolling in cash money. #JustSaying
You can read more at HighTimes.com:
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