Illinois Weed

I love the fact that Illinois legalized marijuana, Iíve waited half a century for it to happen. How they did it is another story.
I was chagrined to find that the dispensary was an out of state outfit! First, if the federal government goes anti-reefer again, with another Nixon or Reagan, the commerce clause takes effect. If licenses were only given to Illinois residents their anti-pot court fight would be much harder. It should be completely inside Illinois, from planting to selling.
But more importantly, there are a lot of Illinoisans, even natives, who have the money to open a dispensary but canít get a license. That license should have never been given to anyone from out of state.
Then thereís the price. Illegal weed has a very good reason for being ridiculously expensiveóitís illegal! People have gone to prison for years for growing and selling marijuana, and there are thousands of Americans in prison for pot right now.
A pack of cigarettes weighs one ounce; I weighed a pack once. Iíve never grown tobacco, but Iíve read itís a hard crop to grow. Not so marijuana; Iíve grown it when I was too poor to buy it.
An eighth of an ounce of ganja at the dispensary is about $75. A quarter ounce on the street is $100. A pack of cigarettes is about $7, all including taxes paid. Thatís a full ounce of a hard to grow crop. So why is easily grown legal weed so expensive? An ounce of pot should cost no more than a pack of cigarettes.
Itís expensive because itís an unnatural monopoly. There are a limited number of licenses, and not all towns want dispensaries. There are three in Springfield, fewer downstate by St. Louis, so they can charge what the outlaws charge before taxes, plus tax.
You may say ďbut street dealers have no overhead beyond the cost of baggies.Ē True, but you buy cigarettes in stores with the same overhead as a pot dispensary or any other small business, and again, that ounce of tobacco is less than ten bucks.
This is really stupid and costing the state millions in taxes it could be collecting. The bill should have included price controls for the monopolist sellers. If it was priced and taxed like cigarettes or liquor, the illegal sales would go away.
That is, if the unnecessary and stupid bureaucracy would go away. Iíve had friends who have visited Coloradoís pot shops, and theyíre no different than a liquor store. Considering that cigarettes are one of our biggest causes of cancer, and people die daily from alcohol overdoses and cirrhosis, while as Willie Nelson said, the only way to die from weed is if a two hundred pound bale of it fell on your head, this is so illogical as to fall into the realm of rank stupidity.
Sale of marijuana to minors should be a felony with mandatory jail time. Reefer is relatively safe for adults, but negatively affects the undeveloped brain; Iíve seen it. For teenagers, pot is worse than alcohol unless theyíre in a college fraternity.
But this is Illinois, where we expect our legislators to be dishonest morons.

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