Cities Turn to a Crop for Cash - Medical Marijuana - NYTimes.com
OAKLAND, Calif. — As the stubborn economic downturn has forced this city to take painful steps to balance its budget in recent years, it has increasingly turned to one of its newer industries to raise much-needed revenues: medical marijuana dispensaries. The city has raised taxes on marijuana dispensaries several times in the past few years, and last year it collected $1.4 million in taxes from them — nearly 3 percent of all the business taxes it collected. Now Oakland plans to double the number of dispensaries it licenses, to eight from the current four, in the hopes that it can collect even more revenue.
My, my. How things have changed. I still remember when people went to jail for selling weed. Oh, wait. They still do. But they aren't the City of Oakland. The city becomes an indirect drug peddler to balance the budget, and that's just sound fiscal policy. But if Joe Schmoe living in Oakland decided to balance his own budget the same way, why, it's a completely different thing, don't you see?