Could Weed Save The Welfare State? - News | MERRY JANE
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Could Weed Save The Welfare State?

With the bottom dropping out of Social Security and Medicaid, weed revenue could help the programs.

by Trish Popovitch

by Trish Popovitch

The state of the nation. All of stump-thumping makes my brain hurt. The Feds spend about two trillion bucks a year in tax revenue. Most of it goes to social programs that help the elderly, veterans, kids and the unemployed (good).

Some of it goes on stupid crap like war (boo) and space exploration (don't get me started). Now the Feds are saying that the nation's two biggest social welfare programs, Medicaid and Social Security, cannot survive.

There just isn't enough green to go around. But what if prohibition ended and the Feds could add weed tax to the coffers?

Could cannabis cash save the Social Security check?

In 2005, a study was released that showed legalizing marijuana at the federal level would produce $10-14 billion in sales tax revenue annually.

Yup, I said 2005.

Nope, I couldn't find a more recent one.

A report from 2014 talks about the proposed 50 percent federal excise tax on weed and how yet another group of smarty smarts are totally for it. The tax justifies the end of prohibition.

The benefits of hemp and medical marijuana outweigh any perceived risks. Side note: government studies on weed are hysterical. Best part is the very scientific and technical discussion of the cost of an ounce. Putting it in fancy terms doesn't change the fact you're comparison shopping your smoke dude.

In 2005 the super nerds estimated cannabis tax revenue of between 10 and 14 billion. At the current rate of inflation that would be approximately $12 to 17 billion. Dude look at me Googling inflation and shit. Now I feels smart. That's a crap load of money. Oh wait. That’s a crap load from my limited poor writer perspective.

Compared to the $888 billion spent on Social Security and the $938 billion spent on Medicaid, the tax revenue from cannabis may seem like a single drop of water in a gigantic fucking glass.

Bring it down a notch people. It is not weed's job to save the federal budget (Captain Cannabis to the rescue!). We're looking to see if cannabis sales can help welfare programs, not save politicians whose math may be worse than mine.

If they stopped wasting money on bloody pointless, bloody useless and bloody expensive space ships, pretty sure we could generate a little revenue there.

Anyway... Oh ,yes interacting with little green men is high on my list of planetary ambitions somewhere after climate change and staying the fuck on your own damn planet and fixing the mess you made Cop Out, Incorporated.

Move that soap box out of the way. Okay where was I? Oh, taxes right...

Cannabis may boost regional and state economies and make up the deficit of quickly failing, running and bailing, oil companies but it cannot run America all by its lonesome.

That said, federal tax revenue of 12 to 17 billion (by my absolutely terrible calculations) could do much good. It fits better in the discretionary funding part of Big Brother's budget. Here, snuggled in the optimism of potential programs, weed revenue could put a nice dent in the budget that helps the same folks that receive Medicaid and Social Security benefits.

The money could go towards veterans’ benefits, housing and community funds, extra money for education, science and agriculture.

Oh yeah, and a bit of a boost to cover any gaps that show up in the main Medicaid budget. In 2015, $66 billion extra pennies were needed to cover health costs.

Hey, look at that.

Weed creates tax revenue and reduces the health budget at the same time! Friggin awesome. I'm like the cannabis analyst economist. Cannabis analyst economist. Yeah, say that three times fast.

So maybe weed can’t cover your SSI check but it can invest in the health of your community. Cannabis tax revenue can impact the quality of life for veterans, the elderly, children and the disabled.

You know, if the federal government would stop playing with its telescope and get some decriminalizing done already.


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Trish Popovitch

With over a decade of professional writing experience, Trish Popovitch is a British ex-pat living in wonderful windy Wyoming. Popovitch graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in the social sciences. Since 2007, she has worked as a freelance journalist and blogger with a penchant for all things green. Having spent the last two years interviewing the movers and shakers in the world of sustainable agriculture, Popovitch is excited to branch out into the growing American cannabis industry.



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