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High Prices

Lessons from the marijuana market.

Apr 15, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 29 • By JOSHUA GELERNTER
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And when legalization comes, taxes won’t be far behind. The Washington state initiative was passed amid estimates that legalized pot would soon bring the state over half a billion dollars in new tax revenues. Pro-legalization congressmen like Earl Blumenauer of Oregon have already touted the idea of federal marijuana excise taxes that would bring in billions to Washington, D.C.

The irritating burdens of the modern state mean that legalization—with its attendant regulations, taxes, and federal oversight—may do more to discourage marijuana smoking than scattershot law enforcement does now.

Joshua Gelernter is a writer in Connecticut.

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