Reader Opinion: Prohibition is expensive
As the end of our legislative session approaches, it seems that our do-nothing Senate has let us down once again. Across our country, lawmakers are recognizing that cannabis prohibition is just too expensive. Nanny State Republicans have decided that this is not the year for Minnesota. This is a decision that will hit all of us in the pocketbook.
One obvious expense is enforcing prohibition. As jurisdictions around the country have opted for legalization, our enforcement cost will continue to rise trying to catch people on their way home from the states which have ended prohibition. Taxpayers will foot the bill for court costs, incarceration, and lost revenues. Full legalization would save enough money to pay for all of the Democrat's pet projects without my raising taxes.
Another way this is going to hit us hard is a decline in tourism. Last October, Canada legalized adult personal use. In November, it passed in Michigan.These destinations are just a tank full away for most Minnesotans. The legal status of cannabis will play into the vacation plans of many Minnesotans and it will have a direct impact on our local businesses.
Full legalization could end the discussion about the gas tax. Our governor has proposed a staggering hike in our gas tax. While few wants to see this, our roads are in terrible shape and we need to fix them before we have another bridge collapse. Some states have used "pot for potholes" to pay for road construction and maintenance. We would get our roads fixed without paying a penny more for gas. This is a win-win that the GOP will not let us have.
Finally, failure to lead will result in the election of more Democrats, and a possible DFL majority in the state Senate. Can we really afford that?