NYC Comptroller Liu Wants Marijuana Legalized
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NYC Comptroller Liu Wants Marijuana Legalized
Posted by CN Staff on August 14, 2013 at 06:12:43 PT
By  The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
New York -- New York City Comptroller John Liu is proposing a historic overhaul of the city’s marijuana laws, believing that legalizing medical marijuana and allowing adults to possess an ounce of pot for recreational use would pump more than $400 million into the city’s coffers.The sweeping change, which would put New York at the forefront of a growing national debate over use of the drug, calls for recreational marijuana to be regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco.
Liu, the city’s top financial officer who is also running for mayor, commissioned a report that finds that New York City has a $1.65 billion marijuana market. If a 20 percent excise tax and the standard 8.875 percent city sales tax is imposed on the pot sales, it would yield $400 million annually in revenue, Liu believes. Another $31 million could be saved a year in law enforcement and court costs.“It is economically and socially just to tax it,” Liu told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. “We can eliminate some of the criminal nature that surrounds the drug and obtain revenue from it.”The comptroller’s plan, which likely faces stiff opposition from state lawmakers who would have to authorize it, calls for the state to oversee private businesses selling pot. Licenses would be required, fees would be charged, and using the drug in public or while driving would be prohibited.Liu’s team calculated that 900,000 city pot smokers spend about $2,000 a year on the drug. He is calling for the revenue surge to be used to reduce tuition at the City University of New York for city residents.Twenty states and the District of Columbia currently permit medicinal marijuana. Two states, Washington and Colorado, last year voted to allow recreational marijuana for adults.Officials in both states predicted that the change would be create a surge in revenue — up to $60 million annually in Colorado alone, according to supporters there. But while it is too soon to evaluate the exact economic ramifications in those states, experts do believe that the city budget would be bolstered by a similar measure.“Now, people selling the product are doing it under the table and aren’t paying any taxes on it,” said Carl Davis, Senior Analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “That would change. And, it stands to reason, people would also start legally producing it locally, so there would be economic benefits there too.”One of the nation’s leading pro-marijuana industry groups applauded Liu’s proposal.“We recognize that marijuana is better sold behind the counter than on the streets,” said Betty Aldworth, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.But neither Liu nor any city official has the authority to decriminalize marijuana; that can only be done by a law that passes the state legislature and is then signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Cuomo has steadfastly opposed any decriminalization efforts and is seen as unlikely to waver from that stance, particularly as he approaches a re-election campaign next year. The Republicans who share majority control of the Senate have also opposed decriminalization proposals. Neither Cuomo nor the Senate GOP leadership would comment on Liu’s proposal.Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose support could sway minds in Albany, has also long opposed efforts to legalize marijuana. His top spokesman declined comment on Liu’s proposal.Liu is currently placing fifth in Democratic mayoral polls.Sal Alabanese, a longshot Democratic mayoral candidate, has also called for legalizing marijuana.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  August 13, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on August 17, 2013 at 07:09:09 PT
Thank you, and you certainly are, too.
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Comment #11 posted by gloovins on August 16, 2013 at 19:38:30 PT
Thanks. You are a strong, beautiful person....:)
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on August 16, 2013 at 18:59:20 PT
I don't always tell you, but it's always good to see you posting.
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Comment #9 posted by gloovins on August 16, 2013 at 18:50:22 PT
the real deal
F it, .99 cents an ounce for the A+ strains, just like oregano at the 99 cent store...When it's this price, then prohibition is over in my opinion.
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on August 15, 2013 at 08:03:09 PT
yes Kapt., don't forget the govt. didn't just slap the banks on the wrist, they also extracted billions of dollars in fines. So if one was to add up a simple spreadsheet to record the money transfers, there would be a huge chunk of money going into the bank from the cartel overlords, a fraction of that going into the banks' coffers, and then a fraction of that going to the federal govt.Everyone gets a cut, with the "drug" users and Mexicans paying for it. You can see in Washington and Massachusetts where laws have been set up to continue the $400 per ounce price, with a substantial portion going to the govt. in taxes and fees. The spreadsheet looks much the same as before, except maybe the banks' share of the pie has been reduced. "follow the money" is what they used to say in journalism.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 14, 2013 at 20:05:41 PT
I agree with you again. We have been spun around in circles for years and we go right, yes, sure. The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. We follow that advice while politicians make it weave all over the place and that is just stalling for them. Someone in politics must get a backbone and get this lousy prohibition over.
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Comment #6 posted by mexweed on August 14, 2013 at 18:01:43 PT:
Discuss vape toke utensils now
When major statements, proposals, etc. about cannabis are announced, discussion flares up, and a wave of new persons try cannabis for the first time, that's the time to publish suggestions addressing the old fear factor, advocating safe, rational moderate-dosage devices to eliminate "drug" effects caused by heat shock, carbon monoxide, 4221 combustion toxins etc. and blamed on the cannabis-- namely 500-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide "joints" need to be replaced by vaporizers, pen-vapes, e-cigs and 25-mg-per-lightup ONE-HITTERS.  By the way, did you notice how this AP report keeps harping on Pot and The Drug-- let's write some complaint letters like Peter Reynolds does in the UK ( Demand that they use civil language, say Cannabis, Herb, Weed or Tokes.
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on August 14, 2013 at 16:22:00 PT:
Sleight-of-hand for 5 year olds; a clown's magic 
tricks. But it's halfhearted. The Feds know the 'jig is up'.It's getting to be downright exhausting, if not actually schizophrenic, I'd think, for the Feds to continue being the 'straight man' in the prohibition 'joke'. With examples like Wachovia and HSBC proving government corruption to be a reality and not a baseless accusation, proven by the government's REFUSAL to arrest the banksters red-handed, while simultaneously continuing the farce by sending 'the usual suspects' (poor Minorities and Whites) to jail for doing what said banksters have done. It's so above board now they don't even try to hide it under a fig leaf. The corruption of justice really, truly, cannot be more blatant than that. To keep playing this game out to the inevitable - and inevitably embarrassing - end is going to be too much for a great many lower-level members of the prohibition food chain. Look for a few to snap publicly, and show that public the snarling face they've hid behind smiley masks...which will only hasten this prohibition's demise.But, no matter. Holder and Co. are playing for time, thinking they can fool 'all of the people, all of the time', one more time. But too many have seen this song-and-dance, and know the lines by heart, and won't get fooled again this time. Ultimately, Holder et al efforts will be rendered moot by the electorate, as WA and CO showed how. Nothing like the people getting their backs up, and saying "No" and the Feds not being able run roughshod over that at will, but have to step back, waaaay back, and obey their paymasters. Enough of that, and Holder's Memo will be considered as invaluable as the advice scrawled on men's room toilet stalls. And will have even less relevance.
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on August 14, 2013 at 16:16:39 PT
still corrupt
Nice try, but I doubt Mayor Bloomcrapper will go for it. Bloomberg is the same guy who tried to outlaw large sodas. A lot of New Yorkers are happy to see that this is his last term. 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on August 14, 2013 at 09:25:14 PT
Totally agree. You can see the result from Colorado and Washington rippling through the system. They are trying various gimmicks to pacify the popular movement on this issue.The feds are saying they're going to "back off" on mandatory minimum sentencing, just like they said they'd back off medical MJ raiding. But they've made not a single change to federal law.A judge has ruled against apartheid in NYC - sort of. Actually, the judge allowed the program to go on, just under federal supervision from now on.  That's great!  I'm sure minorities will be much safer with our ultra-right wing federal govt. involved.The strategy is plain for all to see. Throw us a couple bones, lock down progress on medical marijuana. Work with the billionaire funders to keep growing illegal while claiming to have "legalized".Just remember, even these half-measures and empty promises would not have been made without the wins in CO and WA.   The feds idea of fairness is to lock blacks up 18 times longer than whites instead of 100 times longer. Their idea of cannabis "fairness" will be much the same.  They'll have to be forced to give up prohibition by direct referendum, just the same way alcohol prohibition was finally stopped.
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Comment #2 posted by museman on August 14, 2013 at 09:05:27 PT
I think
Its all a show. Just an elaborate "Good Cop, Bad Cop" drama to let the people think that there is action within the Corrupted ranks of the System. It has never been about money, for those who really understand cannabis. Capital is a much lower priority than humanism, and human rights -which is what any 'law' that infringes on our human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness violates. And when all those mentioned are conditional on one's bank account or the stature of their various 'holdings,' the flags of warning should be waving all over the place.Oh, its about money for all those who worship mammon, but for the rest of us its about freedom. And regardless how much they continue to try and wrap it all up in 'high finance' it is an ending game.May all those rich investors who think to cash in on this experience the reality so many of us have experienced concerning "medicine" and "Sacrament."Medicine should never be withheld because of ones lack of funds -that is unethical, yet it seems to be the fundamental belief of way too many so-called 'anti-prohibitionists' - they may be 'anti' but if its about money -at all- then their motives should be under scrutiny by all those who are still in it for "Life. Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" Sacrament is without price.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 14, 2013 at 08:00:21 PT
Nice try Liu!
1st off, I applaud Mr. Liu for his efforts and I hope we are now getting a full national debate on this subject of "cannabis/marijuana regulation" instead of criminalization.2nd Mr. Liu, has either hit bulls eye and is going to be the next mayor of NYC with popular support, or he has sharply polarized the debate amoung the 'in' crowd and heads are rolling, behind the scenes and he has just committed a political gaffe of national proportions.Rocky, is alive and well, I assume Cuomo is going to finish Liu off, by any means necessary on order of his master.Oh, and on the tipping point, we are already way past it (see my previous posts). Sanjay has notched it up again... if you read things like this in the paper then this signifies that we are already beyond this point. IMO
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