L.A.’s Summer of Pot

IMG_0772The 1960s may have had its Summer of Love, but in certain neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles, this has been the Summer of Pot. Based on my observations and conversations with friends, the herb has been a-permeatin’.

I can’t recall all the times that I have smelled or seen open weed smoking lately. Venice Beach (where I took the photo) is probably Ground Zero — no surprise there.   Last time I was on Venice Beach, I was in a shop that had a corner window facing South, and, through the window, the smell of chronic was mighty powerful.  I  also notice plenty of 420 in Santa Monica, such as at a recent concert on the Pier.  A friend also tells me that the bud is sprouting a-mighty in West Hollywood.

The little I think I know of the situation is that Continue reading “L.A.’s Summer of Pot”

$50 per ounce tax on legalized marijuana would benefit state

potBut what about the competition?

A friend of mine on a recent visit to Los Angeles was surprised to see so many medical marijuana dispensaries as I chauffeured her around the city to see the sights. I explained to her the ease of getting documentation from a doctor to purchase pot legally. Living in Pennsylvania, where even buying alcohol is severely restricted compared to CA, needless to say she was amazed. But maybe PA could learn something from CA.

Yesterday, CA’s Board of Equalization said the state could see as much as a $1.4 billion per year increase in revenue, thanks to a bill introduced in the Assembly that would further legalize marijuana and impose on buyers a $50 per ounce tax, in addition to sales tax. With CA in dire financial condition, the tax is seen as  a much needed revenue generator.

Fun facts: Federal authorities consider CA to be the top pot-producing state in the country and say the 8.6 million pounds grown here make it one of our largest agricultural crops.

But a $50 tax on an ounce of pot if CA legalizes it? Won’t this spur buying it outside of legally sanctioned outlets, say via Mexican drug cartels, to avoid the tax? Would it affect prices of illegal pot or lead to competitive pricing?