Saturday, July 11, 2009

IRS & DEA the deadliest letters in the USA

On Mon, 7/6/09, David Borden wrote

> My view, for whatever it's worth -- if a moderate level of
> taxation is what
> political research shows is needed to get marijuana
> legalized, we should go for it.

Hi David & friends,

Your views and work are worth alot to the drug reform effort. Perhaps you're right to have more faith than I have in political research and the system it studies.

The way I understand it, the end of the "drug war" that's currently happening came from the grassroots finally reaching the majority of the people, recognizing the idiocy of prohibition -- not our political system's reasoned wisdom and brilliant leadership. I think the opportunity for people to see the degree of harm & ignorance being imposed on us by a dysfunctional bureaucracy has never been more clear.

The US government has been worse than merely wrong about Cannabis nutrition, bio-fuels, therapeutics, and other dimensions of this plant that are suddenly being recognized as critical to individual health and global security. U.S. "drug war dinosaurs" have institutionalized criminal negligence, imposed scientific censorship and persited with cruel intransigence in failing to acknowledge (let alone secure) our basic human rights.

I definitely agree we should go for it too. In fact if we truly care about the future of this planet and the quality of life on it, we had better go for it all the way -- to a degree that will be certain to work from now on.

The present system doesn't work. If it did, then we wouldn't be headed for extinction. The dysfunctional prohibition was spawned and dragged out to absurdity by the dysfunctional system that now presumes to tax it. That doesn't sound like much progress to me, and is a terrible "message to send to the children."

'IRS' and 'DEA' are the six most expensive letters in the USA. Hardships imposed by the gross corruption and inefficiency of a predatory bureaucracy run amok has made the world unlivable for the vast majority of the people on this planet. We can afford neither the present drug policy nor the present tax system.

Prohibition has shown us how a government can be criminally wrong, beyond moral accountability. How many conclusions can be drawn from an unique and essential "strategic resource" being concurrently classified as a "Schedule One drug?"

Ultimately, the opportunity for shifting from a military industrial, chemically saturated society, to a sustainable, organic economy is what we are talking about. The shift from dependence on government providing energy and food to the people producing their own essential resources makes taxation obsolete.

The income tax system is the most inefficient form of taxation there is. Innumerable hours of people's lives are wasted computing the degree of "involuntary servitude" when simply taxing what people consume, not what they produce would achieve more equitable funding for a vastly reduced bureaucracy.

If we want both a free-market economy and a sustainable society we would eliminate production taxes on industries that heal the planet (gaiatherapeutic industries), and increase consumption taxes on luxury goods and services, not essential ones. The "luxury tax" would include costs associated with the net carbon component of production and delivery of any good or service. The more people spend, the more taxes they would pay.

Getting marijuana legalized is such a
> difficult thing that not a
> single country has achieved it yet, not even the
> Netherlands. People are
> getting arrested for marijuana every day, about 2,000 per
> day here in the
> US. We should not "make the best the enemy of the
> good" by insisting that
> marijuana have tax-free status, while time goes by and
> people continue to
> sit in prison and the arrests continue.

Absolutely. Releasing "drug war" prisoners is at the top of the list of priorities. Every day spent in jail is gone forever. Every day that a child spends without its parents is a crime against family that erodes the foundations of society. Recognizing prohibition as counter-productive to its own stated objectives will achieve the release of prisoners faster than taxing 'pot' to prop up an insolvent government.

That's why some in the drug policy reform community have always advocated the most direct avenues of legal challenge, frustrated as moderate mainstream activists conceding rightful jurisdiction over unique and essential resources. The Cannabis culture has been raped for decades by the system you are proposing we now pay taxes to. Asking for permission to grow the world's most valuable crop is weak.

To hell with the petrochemical war-mongering system. The world's oldest global culture can fund itself. We don't need permission to survive from an expensive, dysfunctional bureaucracy when we can produce our own fuel and food from the same harvest. The government of the U.S was dead wrong about Cannabis all these years, and it still won't recognize the true value of the plant.

Now that prohibition is imploding out of sheer economic necessity, the military/industrial government is trying to retain control by perpetuating rightful jurisdiction, in spite of criminal negligence that's been revealed.

Paying taxes on Cannabis would impact the Cannabis industry's competitiveness with established, toxic industries that are not being taxed.

Personally, I am not willing to settle for "what we can get," when what we need is so much more.

We should do
> whatever is realistic
> and effective that will end prohibition as soon as
> possible.

Extinction is presently realistic. It makes so much more possible and necessary. Are you willing to exercise "Essential civilian demand" for a "strategic food resource?" That's what made Cannabis illegal in the first place, so why doesn't DRCNet help initiate procedures identified in Executive Order 12919?

What about claiming our First Amendment Right to "every herb bearing seed" and "every green herb" ? Not another law needs to be passed if the spiritual relationship between nature and agriculture is appreciated.

> Besides, as long as there is government, and government
> services, tax
> revenues have to come from somewhere.

Eliminate the IRS and the DEA and we will have trillions to work with. Taxes don't have to be gathered from our income.

Alcohol is used
> safely by most of its
> users, and it is used religiously in many traditions.
> I don't get a tax
> exemption if I buy alcohol for a Jewish ritual, and I don't
> feel that that
> violates my freedom to participate in my familial cultural
> traditions.

Parallels between alcohol and Cannabis don't work. They are at opposite ends of several spectrums, beginning with the difference of their effects on human health and behavior, how they are produced, environmental impacts of crops, etc. Taxation of Cannabis will perpetuate the inertia of the drug war against un-taxed pot.

If I
> were to get such a tax exemption, I would not assume it to
> apply if I went
> to a bar. In some states here in the US there is a
> tax on food, in fact.

Money spent in your community is the most direct and efficient form of "taxation." This isn't figured into the equations around the current Cannabis economy, though it does operate to the benefit of communities where ordinary people profitm from growing & selling 'marijuana'.

> If the tax rates go too high, but it's legal, there will be
> many more
> activists than there are now working to reduce the taxation
> rate.

Better to consider a simpler route, even if it requires thinking outside the bong.

> personal cultivation will follow in short order too,
> because it will be
> politically untenable at that point to arrest people for
> it.

People are already growing marijuana everywhere, because it's increasingly impossible to make ends meet, and marijuana is so easy to grow well.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

To the eurodrug group regarding taxation of Cannabis

Dear Jorge and friends,

Most people would agree that our generation is facing the proximate reality, if not the likelihood of global extinction. Drug policy is being revealed as fundamentally related to many issues, including most notably, climate destabilization. If radiative forcing with monoterpenes hasn't registered with people yet, it may be time to focus on it as a final argument in favor of intensifying Cannabis cultivation.

In my opinion, if we don't meaningfully address "global warming" by recognizing the opportunity afforded by reconstructing drug policy, then it probably won't matter what problems we do solve. There is no drug policy on a burned-out planet.

As it is, far too many decades of intransigence regarding drug policy has had an enormous impact on environment, social justice, food security & nutrition, health and most other issues experiencing critical imbalance. A priority seems then, to determine how rationale drug policy reform can maximize benefit in all of the areas effected by drug prohibition.

For example, in regard to climate change, the effects of prohibition on organic agriculture have economically empowered chemical companies, including fossil fuels, big pharma and chemical agriculture. Our governments are being steered by those wealthy few, enriched by chemically-based industries waging wars all over the planet.

Ending prohibition is proving that the world has been deceived by those who pretend to solve problems rather than create them. The magnitude of harm inflicted and the amount of time and energy it's taken the grassroots movement to end prohibition provides an opportunity to see the "glitch in the maxtrix" that we were all born into.

If we impose taxes and bureaucratic regulation on something that could help mankind to achieve a much more efficient system, then we are delegating our well-being to the same economic structures that have been waging a counter-productive "war" on the majority of the world's people. As the majority awakens to the fatal deception of the "drug war" I trust we can make the most of being awake, and really "go for it" in time to have maximum beneficial effect on our common future.

This is the process I presently envision:

Step One:
Release all people convicted of minor drug charges from all of the world's prisons -- immediately. Redirect the money being spent on incarceration to provide practical support, helping people reintegrate into healthy, productive lives. This would mean redirecting "drug war" related bureaucracies (i.e. the DEA) into community-based enterprise for helping people recover from the harms of having been imprisoned.

Step Two:
Make hard drugs legally affordable and available by prescription, while discarding all laws pertaining to Cannabis and coca cultivation, manufacture and trade.

Step Three:
Teach individual responsibility for choices made from an early age. The importance of "sending the right message" of accountability to young people, by holding elected officials and industry leaders accountable for their crimes and gross negligence, cannot be underestimated.

Step Four:
Provide employment by initiating organic, non-GMO Cannabis agricultural projects in every country, to allow regional adaption of hemp seed strains to produce food, fuel, paper, cloth, building materials, etc. This will produce a global abundance of sustainable resources on which to base hyper-efficient, carbon positive ("gaiatherapeutic") regional economies.

Step Five:
Redirect "drug war" and other wasteful government funding to healthcare, drug education and harm reduction measures.

Step Six:
Establish the true value of Cannabis using all existing peer-reviewed studies, while increasing research into the benefits of Cannabis therapeutics, agronomics and ecology. Educate people about the unique and essential benefits of Cannabis nutrition, organic crop rotation, conversion from chemical ag and other health benefits associated with the Cannabis plant.

Step Seven:
Expansion of the arable base using a full range of organic pioneer crops, to regenerate depleted, compacted and toxic soils and desertified lands.

When Cannabis is allowed to compete unencumbered on the free-market, the true value of it will make obsolete those polluting industries and the economic political structures built upon unevenly distributed poisons. Predictably, the dangers and pitfalls of chemically intensive mono-cropping need to be guarded against.

Not taxing Cannabis-based production will afford the industry a stimulus that will increase its competitive position in relation to industries that currently enjoy no taxation or are so favored by economic monopoly and the influence that affluence buys, that they may as well be operating untaxed.

Discontinuing income taxes altogether would eliminate countless hours wasted in accounting, and save hundreds of billions that prop up the bureaucracy that exists to controls us. Greater efficiency between an individual's income and the direct community support that comes from people spending money on goods and services would result in a higher standard of living, which is the most effective way to reduce drug abuse.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why taxing Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade is a bad idea

Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade are critical to the survival of our species. Burdening the growth of an industry that's been vilified, persecuted, and suppressed for seventy years; an industry that also heals the planet in several crucial ways; and could rejuvenate organic agriculture; with a tax paid to a government that's killing the planet will effectively weaken not only the growth of organic farm-based industries at a time when we should be supporting them; it will also cloud the primary reason for ending prohibition --"the "drug war is counter-productive. Corrupt misdirection inherent to the political system that perpetuated the "drug war" epitomizes the abject failure of that system.

The greatest benefit of ending prohibition is the crystal clear view of how dysfunctional our social structures must be, if such a perversely harmful policy as prohibition could be imposed by governments for so long.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

taxing cannabis vs. religious freedom

Hi Alun,

I'm replying to you directly because as a non-European contributor to the Eurodrug list I am reluctant to post too much of my personal philosophy, which may or may not be relevant or interesting to others. Anyone who may care to is welcome to read further at my blog:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Personally, I agree with much of what you write. You bring up some very interesting questions that I don't pretend to know "The Answers" to -- for anyone but myself. What I am attempting to do is to articulate a legal defense for total Cannabis freedom, regardless of taxation or any other conditions for ending prohibition.

As I understand it, in the context of U.S. law, "religious freedom" was stated vaguely by design, in order to allow for the broadest possible interpretation.

How the courts of various countries reconcile "religion" in relation to our 'freedom to farm' Cannabis depends on things that I'm sure I don't fully comprehend. I guess my point is that, regarding Cannabis laws in the US and other countries, "religious freedom" seems to be inconsistent with the realities we face as a species facing foreseeable extinction.

Because prohibition is so obviously counter-productive to its own stated objectives, I find it impossible to respect anything other than total Cannabis freedom. What seems (to me) to be needed, obviates government taxation of profits from my labor.

Your statement that "...the Human Rights Article that
grants for every man, the freedom to hold or to change his
(or her) religion or belief .... to practice it alone
or with others." ...which is not exactly "religious freedom""

is confusing to me. I only speak for myself, ofcourse. That's why the ministry I started is an individual one. I certainly don't presume to "know" what religious freedom means to anyone else. For myself, religious freedom includes the freedom to farm. This seems to be specifically referenced in legal provisions associated with "every herb." The Biblical quote serves as a cross-over between widely accepted religious doctrine and relevant legal provisions.

If "the freedom to hold or to change his
(or her) religion or belief .... to practice it alone
or with others" isn't religious freedom, then how else would it be defined? As I understand it, what "legitimizes" any spiritual path is baseline philosophy known as "The Golden Rule" -- "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

If someone is an "atheist" and chooses to reject "religion" that's their choice and I totally respect that choice. I don't know what rights the courts would convey to a person who doesn't acknowledge a spiritual relationship with Cannabis, but I feel I ought to be protected by the law if I am sincere about how I feel about it.

For myself, I'm spiritually thankful to whatever energy or process or "God" created such a wonderful plant, without having to define it. If there is legal purchase in this then I ought to be legally protected from prosecution for growing and selling any Cannabis products.

Here's an interesting essay that you may be interested in:

"Can Engaging with a Radical Religion Help Save Progressives from Self-Indulgence?"
By Robert Jensen, Soft Skull Press. Posted July 3, 2009

"But back to taxation - do we agree that profits from the SALE of legalised cannabis ought be taxable?"

Perhaps I'm the wrong person to ask. I was convicted as a "tax protester" in 1996 because I think being forced to pay taxes on personal income is a Constitutional violation of individual choice.

On the other hand, excise taxes paid on goods and services ARE an individual choice, and require no "free accounting."

Taxation of profits is essentially "involuntary servitude" (i.e. wage slavery) administrated in the most inefficient, bureaucratic and expensive way possible. To make Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade conditional on taxation eliminates a "god-given" right.

Willing compliance with taxation is understandable, considering that it's the system we were all born into, and brought up to think of as "how things work" -- but we were all born into prohibition too, and we know that doesn't work. And neither is income taxation, so why construct a system around Cannabis agriculture that will burden it with taxes?

As lies, absurdities and injustices characteristic of drug prohibition become more apparent, they provide an opportunity for a broader awakening.
Unjust and inefficient income taxation is being imposed by the same predatory machine that has been waging the "drug war" against us. If it was working, maybe I'd support it, but the system is not working.

For the first time in human history our species is aware that we're heading for extinction. There is an immediate urgency for finding solutions that have never existed before.

The priority is to figure out how to support the healing of our planet. Giving money to a criminally negligent, dysfunctional U.S. bureaucracy seems like madness, so I find it impossible to advocate for half-measures.

The "religious freedom" argument seems to provide the most direct, lawful alternative by making the distinction between drugs and herbs. Taxation of any environmentally unique and essential natural resource seems to me unlawful, unnecessarily complicated and inefficient in a time of global emergency.

I absolutely agree that "it does not matter what a person's religion or belief is, they have the same Right to hold or to change it, and to practice it, and any interference from the authorities seems to be to be illegal..."

Best wishes,


Cannatax help? I don't think so...

"personally I am against taxing cannabis - I would only agree with taxing the profits" - Alun

If there still exists a legitimate spiritual connection between farmer, land and harvest, then any tax imposed on any "herb bearing seed" is a violation of religious freedom.

Taxing what people spend on non-essential items and for whatever harm they do to the environment/society are the most equitable and most efficient means of raising revenue to run a much smaller bureaucracy.

It's been my experience that people who make money from Cannabis generally spend most of it in their communities. That's a direct, voluntary, efficient kind of taxation. Additionally, people who have lots of Cannabis typically share it with people who need it. That's an even more direct sort of tithing that has the same effect as taxation.

The six most expensive letters in the USA are IRS and DEA. If we eliminate those two predatory "bureaucrazies" we'll save enough money to pay for Americka's much-needed national psychiatric treatment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

About Portugal

Dear Jorge and friends,

I am very happy for you and for the people of Portugal. Your progress is a heartening example of national intelligence, directing courage and reason in leadership. Thank you for keeping us in the light of your process & changes.

For whatever it may be worth, I suspect that by anticipating the effects of liberalizing Portugal's marijuana laws, projected benefits can add momentum to the shift. In particular, the legalization of marijuana for personal use in Portugal could be extend to visitors, allowing for Cannabis tourism, if new policy is made with such freedom in mind. I believe this would be good for Portugal and good for the rest of the EU.

Cannabis tourists are typically a peaceful, voracious bunch, given to much dancing. All this is good for local restaurants, music events, etc. I'd be interested to see research on how much more food people eat -- and the percent increase in restaurant bills -- when stoned. I'd guess it's at least 10%.

Legal Cannabis production contributes to local economies whether it's taxed or not. People earning money in Cannabis-related industries inevitably spend money in the regions where they live. Not taxing Cannabis would keep the price of it down, and eliminate a huge tax-related bureaucracy, of the kind that California presently seems to be stumbling toward.

Imbalances created by national extremes in prohibition policies is not a healthy one. Perhaps Portugal will recognize the opportunity in taking some of the pressure off of Holland, currently the destination of choice for people who appreciate the peaceful absence of a "drug war" around Cannabis.

The people of Portugal are encouraged to support as liberal and tolerant a policy as possible for both marijuana and industrial hemp. The rest of the EU is encouraged to support the change.

Best wishes,


PS. Tune-in to BlogTalkRadio to hear "The Final Argument" for ending Cannabis prohibition:

"Cannabis agriculture vs. Climate Change"
presented by the California Cannabis Ministry

Saturday, July 4th, 2009
9-10am, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) = GMT+7
so 4-5pm GMT

Listener dial-in number: (347) 202-0195

Perhaps BlogTalkRadio would be an efficient way for ENCOD and others on this list to communicate and possibly raise financial support. Anyone interested in sponsoring (or calling in) to Saturday's program is invited to participate.