State’s pricing defeats purpose

Regarding the article, “Measure to legalize pot could bring billions to state coffers”: I had just about talked myself into voting yes on I-502. Guess in my dotage (78) I am becoming increasingly more naïve. I thought the idea was to legalize marijuana in order to get the criminal element, which reaps millions, if not billions of dollars in profit every year, out of the business. I stupidly thought that the initiative would make the stuff available to some of the young people who now resort to property crimes to get the money to buy their expensive pot.

I thought that we, the people, would benefit both ways — eliminate the marijuana cartels and reduce the property crime rate. But that would require that the price of pot approach reasonableness. That does not appear likely to happen.

If the number quoted in the Herald predicting user each would consume 2 grams per use at a price of $12 per gram, with taxes, (I have no way of knowing how much of the average user takes daily), then all the initiative will do is to trade one bunch of shameless profiteers (the dealers) for another (the State Liquor Control Board).

The board did such a wonderful job “regulating: liquor prices, I can’t wait for what they will do in this case. Already TV ads are buzzing, and Olympia is salivating about the windfall profits to be made.

I do hope that, if the initiative actually passes, it will be legal for everyone to simply grow the stuff. That would eliminate both types of profiteers. For the record, I have never smoked pot, and I, like most of my friends and acquaintances, would not start, even if marijuana is given away for free.

Frank Baumann