Ron Paul and Dana Rohrabacher Propose Legislation That Would Make Medical Marijuana a Business (Almost) Like Any Other

Two medical marijuana bills introduced in the House of Representatives late last week could go a long way toward legitimizing medical marijuana shops: 

The industry bills were introduced with bipartisan lead sponsors. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) are the lead sponsors of the “Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2011,” which would amend Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code so that medical marijuana providers can take standard business deductions like any other business.

The “Small Business Banking Improvement Act of 2011,” sponsored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), would allow financial institutions to work with medical marijuana businesses without the fear of running afoul of federal banking regulations.

That text is from the National Cannabis Industry Association, the newest drug reform lobbying shop in D.C. As NORML noted today, the number of registered medical marijuana users is somewhere between 1 million and 1,500,000, making legal weed one hell of a cash crop

Assuming usage of one-half to one gram of cannabis medicine per day per patient and an average retail price of $320 per ounce, these legal consumers represent a $2.3 to $6.2 billion dollar market annually.

Based on state medical marijuana laws, the amounts of cannabis these legal marijuana users are entitled to possess means there is between 566 – 803 thousand pounds of legal usable cannabis allowed under state law in America.  These patients are allowed to cultivate between 17 – 24 million legal cannabis plants.  There may possibly be more, as California and New Mexico “limits” may be exceeded with doctor’s permission and some California counties explicitly allow greater amounts, so there may be as much as 1 million pounds of state-legal cannabis allowed under state law in America.

Aside: If you missed Rohrabacher's scathing op-ed on the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, read it now. (Sample: "When reathorization came around five years ago, we were basically asked to reauthorize the original legislation, except this time all the sunsets were to be left out. That’s the kind of freedom lover GW was and is. We are in the middle of a war and he uses the opportunity to permanently expand federal law enforcement’s power over the population as a whole.")

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  • ||

    This type of legislation will pass eventually because those cash crop numbers are going to start making the parasite class' eyes bleed that they're not getting a cut.

    Not the best reason for legalization, but we have to take what we can get.

  • ||

    Oh, so true. So much for their fucking convictions.

  • ||

    What convictions? Their lust for power over others is now warring with their lust for tax money. It just so happens that in this case, their lust for power over our money is better than their lust for power over us.

  • Rich||

    Then why do they not legalize "non-medical" marijuana as well? According to the government, in 2009, 16.7 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed. Talk about your tax revenue ....

  • ||

    Legalized MJ--complete legalization--doesn't hold the same tax wonders as "medical" MJ does, because if you legalized all MJ tomorrow, a ton of people would just grow it as they do now, and there wouldn't be any way to tax it.

    But "medical" MJ has a framework; it can be tracked and traced and taxed.

    That's not to say that there wouldn't be some tax increases from boutique weed being sold, or increased sales of bongs and MJ brownies and grow lights, but it would largely be out of the government's control, and it hates that.

  • Rich||

    Good points; but how many people grow their own tobacco?

  • ||

    Weed is vastly easier to grow than tobacco. And yes, there would be sales, of course, but even if you didn't want to grow, maybe your buddy does it for you. I mean, weed literally grows on "trees". You would only pay for it for better, special stuff.

  • crest||

    actually real tobacco is pretty hard to kill...the curing process is a bit more in depth than marijuana though

  • BR||

    Beer is easy to make -- you just follow a recipe.

  • ||

    Crappy beer is "easy" to make, been there done that. Crappy weed is easy to grow.

  • ||

    Epi, I think you overestimate the industry of the average American. Not that many people will grow their own, when they can just pick up a pack at the liquor store.

    For one thing, it takes forever (like, months, dude!), and unless you grow it indoors, under expensive lights, you're gonna get seeds (trust me on this).

  • Professional Critic||

    If I could do it, which I did, then anyone can.

    Frankly, the only reason I stopped was that I was getting so much yield that I had too much lying around. I was too afraid to sell or give it away, so I just stopped growing.

    What I had lasted 6 more months. Now I just go to the dispensary.

  • ||

    I agree with much of what you say, with a slight disagreement about State Cannabis Sales IF it were legalized, I believe there is a huge Market that will keep the State stores viable. Example: I can get weed anytime,but I cannot get a very good variety, it's pretty much whatever the latest Harvest was. BUT, if I could go to a State store and have the Variety they could have ,,,,guess where I will drop a few bills now and then..P.S, I haven't bought Cannabis in Years.

  • Jim||

    I dunno...Bill Clinton & Mitch Daniels are pretty sure you should be locked away forever, just like they were...oh wait...

  • Geoff||

    Besides, anyone who used pot never amounted to anything--just ask Clinton, Bush I, Bush II, Obama,...
    errr.. On second thought, maybe they DIDN'T...

  • ||

    The best defense the WoD has ever received--drugs are a path to Ultimate Evil!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Second best defense: Negroes/Chinese/Arabs/Hispanics grow/manufacture/import drugs and sell them to little Timmy on the playground! Rabble, Rabble!

  • ola||

    Bush I? Really? He probably thinks it wouldn't be prudent to talk about it.

  • ||

    Remember how he knew all about voodoo economics?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Anyone? Anyone?

  • ||

    Epi, that's exactly why Prohibition was repealed.

  • ||

    We need the dues.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Rohrabacher's a pretty damn good paleo: he's typically conservative on issues like sodomy and immigration, but is also pretty good on general foreign policy and freedom stuff (especially at the federal level).

  • ||

    he's typically conservative on issues like sodomy and immigration...

    So where would he stand on a bill that would sodomize illegal immigrants?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    His position is to be right behind the immigrants, of course.

  • ||

    OUCH!

  • ||

    Why the hell is "sodomy" even an issue? SCOTUS struck down all those laws 8 years ago and before that most state supreme courts had already done the same. Do these idiots think Americans want to add a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit dick sucking, pussy eating, and ass fucking? I mean WTF???

  • Jim||

    Do these idiots think Americans want to add a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit dick sucking, pussy eating, and ass fucking?

    Yes, they do think that Americans actually want that. Real Americans, at any rate. The legalization of those items was the result of judicial activism, as instituted by the secular humanist left-wing conspiracy. And if you don't believe that, even after reading their "educational" materials, then that's how you know that you, too, are a part of the conspiracy.

    More fun facts from my Saturday at the survivalist convention.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Do these idiots think Americans want to add a Constitutional amendment that would prohibit dick sucking, pussy eating, and ass fucking?

    It's easier to legislate that sex shall only occur between a man and a woman, fully clothed, in the missionary position, with the lights off, than to explain why a legislator wants to rob the public treasure for his campaign donors.

  • Brett L||

    Same reason we still fight over Roe v. Wade?

  • Creech||

    cite please regarding his stance on sodomy.

  • fish||

    Wide

  • Hugh Akston||

    he's typically conservative on issues like sodomy and immigration

    Meaning he taps his feet in the Capital restroom and hires illegal immigrant housekeepers?

  • ||

    Why do Pete Stark and Jared Polis get the shaft in the headline?

  • ||

    I noticed this too. I mean, I can think of no defining characteristic about Stark and Polis that differentiates them from Paul and Rohrabacher. Baffling.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The DEA shall not be deterred by anything that comes out of Congress.

  • Some Call Me. . .Tim||

    Pot will be legalized in 2017 when President Cheech Marin signs the Willy Nelson Act.

  • ||

    I prefer the Willy Johnson act, but I guess that would be redundant.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Willy's not here, man.

  • ||

    Love that bit.

  • ||

    Is this the same Dana Rohrabacher who recently suggested that climate change was caused by trees releasing carbon dioxide?

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi||

    'we shall take steps that will damn well astound you'

  • Richard||

    As long as they're already drafting a bill, can't they just reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug while they're at it? Am I missing something?

  • ||

    Seems like a good idea, but think of the hell that pain docs go through just to medicate their patients.

    If it were rescheduled the DEA would have every doc by the balls with regard to medmj.

    Ever wonder why pain patients aren't just given a card that allows them to buy meds when they need them (like medmj is sold now)?

    The illegality keeps the narcs at arms length, ironically enough.

  • Hard On For Liberty||

    As a Chronic Pain Patient, there is nothing I hate more than prescription & controlled substance laws.

    If I want to buy a gallon vial of injectable Dilaudid-HP right off the shelf at Wal-Mart, who the fuck has the right to stop me?

  • Hard On For Liberty||

    Fuck no. Then it would still be illegal to possess without a permission slip from a prohibition-enforcement contractor ("doctor" with a piece of paper from the state that says he's a "real doctor". Fuck medical licensing. But I digress.).

    That's like saying coke and meth are legal because they're Schedule II.

    Do we really want cannabis treated like coke and meth?

    No. We don't. Remove it from the CSA and abolish the CSA while you're at it.

    And abolish prescription laws too.

  • James C Bennett||

    This almost makes me feel bad for voting against Rohrabacher all those times. Almost.

  • George V||

    One gram a day????

  • ||

    How much is that in terms of a joint? Is one gram equal to one joint?

  • George V||

    I have no idea. I just know how long a bag lasts.

  • CatoTheElder||

    28.35 grams to the ounce.

    They'd be pretty small joints.

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