I'm not the first one to think of it, but I'll post it anyway.
Obama,if you're really serious about getting our economy back on track, consider legalizing marijuana, regulate it, and sell it through some sort of State or Federal run store, much like state liquor stores. According to 2006 estimates, it's a 35.8 billion dollar domestic industry. And it doesn't look like that figure includes all the Canadian bud making it across the border.
This would accomplish a number of things:
- Increase government revenue (think of it as a tax on stoners)
- Would decrease revenue from illegal drug dealers
- Ensure safer sources of the drug, (if regulated, one wouldn't need to worry about it being laced with anything really harmful, and growing techniques would be monitored as well)
- Ensure more consistent types of highs and dosages. (THC levels could be measured for specific strains, strains could be marketed for their types of highs)
The only downsides:
- Republicans and other neo-cons would use this issue to try to defeat you in the next election. Apparently, folks like Limbaugh don't consider their drug habit a problem, but want to prevent anyone else from trying something a lot safer, under the pretense of taking the moral high ground. High, indeed. And although you'd win the stoner vote forever, they are more likely to miss an election than some high strung uptight moral majority type.
- The illegal drug trade operators might not like you cutting in on their business, and try to do mean things to you.