The "Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy" (MRP) Project
Pronounced "Merp Project"
After covering drug policy for over a decade it is becoming apparent that Marijuana Re-Legalization must occur through a thoughtful restructuring of existent laws. To that end New Age Citizen will soon be embarking on what will be known as the "Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy" (MRP) Project
The initial phase of the project will be geared towards gathering the endorsement of the following Re-Legalization Guidelines, by both individuals and organizations:
"The most important aspect to any reform in Cannabis law needs to minimally allow non-commercial cultivation, by adults above the age of 18, to be done without any form of government taxation or interference."
If you agree with these guidelines we urge you to get on our mailing list by clicking on the "Join us - It's Free" hyperlink. These Re-Legalization Guidelines closely parallel the way that we regulate the home brewing of another mind altering drug - beer. The primary purpose of these guidelines are to insure that government is forever restricted from taxing or regulating the personal use of Cannabis.
Of course these guideline encapsulate much forethought and will require further explanation which will be forthcoming. In the meantime let me just throw out the following points:
* One of major focus of the Drug War has been to whittle away at our constitutional rights to privacy, free speech and unreasonable searches and seizures. The Re-Legalization Guidelines will go a long way in taking back much of what has lost over the last 67 years since passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
* Many activists argue that the only way that Marijuana can be legalized is if the Government can find a way to make money off it. "Tax it" they say "and we can pay off the national debt." But this will require costly regulation and enforcement which will still afford the government an excuse to enter you home and violate your privacy rights. It is not hard to imagine that "no knock" busts would still be executed in order to prosecute citizens who might be growing Cannabis "without a licence."
The MRP Project argues that it would be better to see Americans allowed to grow their own Marijuana and then spend the savings (from no longer having to buy ounces at $400+) on food, clothing, retirement savings and other goods and services. In redirecting their savings towards goods and services tax revenue will also be generated as purchases are made. So the MRP Project approach is actually superior to the "tax and regulate" approach because it does not require ANY money to be spent on a new government bureaucracy. And, as previously stated, it also protects our constitutional gaurantees against unreasonable searches and seizures by eliminating one of the greatest excuses for "no knock" home invasions by government agents.
MRP Project Law
Jack is a moderate smoker. He consumes about 3 ounces of high grade Cannabis each year [This amounts to .23 gms of Cannabis per day -- a fraction of what is in an average cigarette]. At $400/ounce this amounts to $1,200 which goes directly to his local drug dealer.
Jack is still a moderate smoker. But it is now costing him only $20, per ounce, to grow his own Cannabis. So he now only spends $60 for his 3 ounces and now has freed up $1,140 each year to spend on legal goods and services. Jack decides to spend his $1,140 savings on a new wardrobe. Since he lives in Michigan, where there is a 6% sales tax, the State of Michigan gets an extra $68.40 in tax revenue this year. If there are a million moderate smokers in Michigan, about 10% of the population, this would result in $68 million dollars of tax revenue each year.
Jack gets pulled over for a bad tail light and the officer insists on a search. A roach is found under the seat. By the time he pays the fines and an attorney he has been set back nearly $3,000 dollars and he nearly spent some time in jail. For the next year he must submit to random drug tests at the insistence of the court.
Jack gets pulled over for a bad tail light and the officer issues a warning which requires him to fix the bad tail light. This costs Jack about $20 -- saving him $2980 from NOT getting busted. Let's assume that the 700,000 Amereicans, that get busted for Cannabis possession each year, spend an average of $2,000 on fines, urine tests, court costs and attorney fees. That amounts to about 1.2 BILLION dollars that American citizens will have back in their own pockets each year!
* We are supposed to have a government that is "by, for and of the American people." If that is the case why does the Federal Government continue to fight against the medical use of Cannabis when over 70% of the American people believe such access should be available?
* With pharmaceutical drugs falling further out of reach of the poor and elderly the MRP Project argues that non-taxation will provide a means for reducing the cost of pharmaceutical drugs by forcing competition with one of the worlds safest, most effective medicines: Cannabis. While Cannabis will not supplant all pharmaceutical drugs it may offer an alternative in some areas (e.g., glaucoma treatment; as an alternative to certain anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs). Hopefully this will give impetus to the use of other plant based medicines as well.
If you think these guidelines have merit we encourage you to sign up and get involved. If your financial situation allows, we also encourage subscribing to our eMagazine and purchasing products from our online store
Yours in Freedom,