Calls for legalizing marijuana aren’t new. Calls for taxing marijuana to produce revenue at the state level isn’t new. How about we legalize marijuana at the federal level, tax the marijuana industry and use that revenue to pay reparations to non-violent offenders? That’s new.
Yes, reparations for those who have served jail time for nonviolent marijuana charges. It’s the latest big idea coming out of Robert Francis O’Rourke’s presidential campaign.
The former congressman from Texas would combine a newly regulated marijuana market with restitution for policies that resulted in lengthy prison time for low-level drug crimes. The goal is to see that those who were harmed by the strict “war on drugs” policies of the past can now benefit from the money made in the marijuana business.
“We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs,” O’Rourke said in a statement.
The plan is on his campaign website and it is worth taking a look at, if for no other reason than to see just how far the left is going in their war on the American taxpayer. Just as other Democrat presidential candidates made a point of praising O’Rourke’s mandatory gun confiscation ideas, it will be just a matter of time before at least some of them jump on the bandwagon for a new form of reparations. His plan is mostly a pander to primary voters in minority communities but I assume it will include white people, too. The reparations will be called “drug war justice grants”, you see.
O’Rourke’s tax would seek to fund a monthly grant program he calls the “drug war justice grant,” which would be given to people who were incarcerated for marijuana offenses. The grants would be offered for a period of time based on how long they were in prison. The tax money would also support substance abuse treatment programs and assist those affected by marijuana laws with housing and job support, as well as provide help for breaking into the marijuana business.
Some of the candidates in the 2020 Democrat presidential primary have called for the legalization of marijuana. O’Rourke joins the calls from Cory Booker and Kamala Harris to expunge the criminal records of those convicted of marijuana possession. In his plan, marijuana charges would no longer to be considered grounds for denying citizenship or deporting immigrants. They are just desperate people willing to smoke what American citizens are not willing to… I’m making a joke but if marijuana is legalized and records are expunged, even those records of illegal aliens serving time on marijuana charges, then that is how the natural progression would go.
There is plenty of language in the plan that demonstrates the heavy hand of government control, as you’d expect from a leftist. O’Rourke’s plan calls for the licensing of marijuana producers, distributors, and sellers which is additional tax revenue. Licensing fees are taxes. Smoking is limited to personal residences and non-public spaces. The plan calls for establishing minimum federal sustainability standards for growers with regard to water, energy, and land-use efficiency. And there are special cut-outs (giveaways) for those convicted of marijuana charges – a monthly stipend (“Drug War Justice Grant”) for those who serve state or federal prison sentences to be allotted for the amount of time served. Funds for treatment programs would come from the new taxes, as would community investment.
But here’s a kicker. Let’s put those who have a history of drug use into the marijuana industry!
Support those disproportionately impacted by marijuana arrests, including those who have been convicted of marijuana possession themselves in participating in the marijuana businesses by providing technical assistance, industry-specific training, access to interest free/low-interest loans, and access to investment financing and legal services.
Beto has a history of pushing for drug legalization. Marijuana is the least harmful. He advocated for the legalization of all narcotics during his time on the San Antonio City Council. He now takes the opportunity to dust off the book he wrote back then and is hawking it on Twitter with the tweets on this marijuana legalization plan.
When I was on the El Paso City Council, I started advocating for legalizing marijuana and ending a War on Drugs I had seen become a War on People—devastating black and brown communities on both sides of the border. In 2011, I published a book about it: https://t.co/F9YWcjDpPV
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 19, 2019
He conveniently reminiscences about calling for marijuana legalization, you’ll note. That sounds so much softer than narcotics, doesn’t it? Which leads to the eventual question – would President O’Rourke move on to all narcotics being legalized after marijuana, as he did back in the day?
None of this really matters, though. O’Rourke is circling the drain and if his tantrum calling for gun confiscation didn’t cause him to rise in the polls, as it hasn’t, then legalizing pot probably won’t either. It sure won’t make him rocket to the top of the polls. All he can hope for is for one of the top candidates to consider him as a vice-president. Or maybe a cabinet secretary.
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