The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.


Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Guest Commentary / Legal marijuana


Seize pot opportunity to grow economy


Opponents of pot are still trying to wage social, ethical and moral arguments against the majority of citizens who voted in favor of the legalization of marijuana (Initiative 502). Legitimate concerns are lost in the perpetuation of misinformation and emotional irrationality, but what everyone seems to agree on is that marijuana does indeed grow money. So why aren't we talking about this inevitable, legal, emerging economic impact to our region and how it may help us grow out of the looming fiscal calamities that our communities are facing?
As many cities in our state rush to resurrect failed limit, prohibit, and ban policies to keep marijuana out of their communities, they fail to acknowledge the simple fact that marijuana is already here and has been flourishing for generations. Illegal and quasi-legal cannabis operations rake in enormous tax-free profits with little regulation, oversight or enforcement. Implementing I-502 may be our only chance to stop nurturing and sustaining organized crime, shut down dangerous amateur-extraction labs, eliminate hazardous home-baking enthusiasts, and put a stop to residential grow operations.
I-502 gives the state and local jurisdictions the power to regulate and tax authorized businesses who grow, process or sell marijuana. Although marijuana is still a federally illegal substance, the federal government has indicated they will not interfere with the efforts of states to legalize recreational marijuana if their highly regulated system works toward the elimination of the black market, avoids undue social harm (i.e. gets it out of the hands of children because they already have easy access to it), and prevents an exodus of cannabis products from crossing state lines. This is what everyone working in the legitimate medical cannabis community and the recreational marijuana industry is trying to accomplish. It's not a matter of if cannabis will be federally legal, it's now a matter of when.
We have a small window of opportunity to assist the I-502 visionaries who are launching well-capitalized businesses with professional management teams, to support existing ancillary businesses who are trying to enter the market, and to encourage cannabis innovators to come out of the closet with their new horticultural techniques, inventions and modified technologies they are currently using in the production and processing of marijuana. Tourism, commercial real estate, agricultural supply stores, equipment manufacturers and many other stagnant and declining business sectors will experience new streams of revenue from canna-businesses. With this new tax revenue, we can finally fund social services, education, environmental protection and all the other issues we proclaim to care so much about.
Labeled the Green Rush and pot-com, the legalization of marijuana is one of the biggest business opportunities in our region since the dot-com boom. It does not mean we are supporting a bunch of pot-smoking dudes enjoying good bud in public who are saturating our children with marijuana. Supporting I-502 means we are supporting legitimate entrepreneurs and innovators who are trying to take money away from drug cartels and unscrupulous dealers and putting it into our community coffers to create the kind of environment we all long to live in. Who would “just say no” to that?
Jamie Curtismith lives in Everett.
Editor's note: The Everett City Council is scheduled to debate the extension of a cannabis ordinance tonight at 6:30.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet Classifieds