How much revenue?

Marijuana

Every time New Jersey legislators take a look at making something legal, they always look into how much revenue the state can rake in.

Here is a typical example, the legislature is debating whether to make recreational marijuana legal and of course there will be a tax involved. Per the Asbury Park Press, “After much debate over how high the New Jersey legal weed tax rate should be, Murphy and legislators went with “somewhere in the middle.” Instead, legal weed would be taxed at a flat rate of $42 per ounce, imposed on marijuana cultivators and eventually passed on to the consumer.

That tax would remain the same no matter the price of cannabis, meaning that when prices fall, the tax rate would effectively grow larger. On a $300 ounce of marijuana, it’s essentially a 14 percent tax rate. If cannabis prices drop to $200 an ounce, the tax will represent a 21 percent levy.

So instead of considering if it is in the public good, our legislators are debating how much it should be taxed. Note that the bill prevents you from growing your own marijuana. If this were about health and safety, then there would be little to no discussion of how much money the state could make from making pot legal.

This mindset is just plain wrong and it is time for the people of New Jersey to say to our elected officials that it is not how much you can make, but is it good for our state and it’s people?

In the past examples of this kind of thing include making speeding a revenue source for the State of New Jersey. Per Improv, “If you are caught speeding, the amount you are fined varies based on where you were speeding and how many miles over the speed limit you were going. For a simple speeding violation, one where you are going one to nine miles over the speed limit, your fine will be $85. If you are 15 to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit, the fine increases to $180. And if you are 30 to 39 miles per hour over the speed limit, your fine will be $240 to $260. Additionally, there are factors that increase the fines. If you are in a construction zone, in a safe corridor, in a school zone or speeding through a crosswalk, your fines will increase.” Also, “The state of New Jersey uses a point system. If you are given traffic tickets or involved in car accident, you receive points on your driving record. The number of points you receive for a speeding ticket varies, based on how many miles over the speed limit you were going. You receive two points if you are 1-14 miles per hour over the speed limit, four points if you are 15 to 29 miles per hour over and five points if you are 30 miles per hour over the speed limit or more. If you exceed more than six points in a three year period, the state of New Jersey will issue you a $150 surcharge plus $25 for each additional point.

So not only do you pay a fine, but for a good number of years you are paying for something that in many other states is just a one time fine. This system has not really reduced speeding, it just lines the pockets of the state and insurance companies.

It is time to dismantle this greedy system that the legislators of this state have assembled. For it is sucking the money out of our pockets and it is continually getting worse.

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike

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