FEEDBACK: The perils of legal pot; thanks for tax reform
Author: Colorado Politics - December 21, 2017 - Updated: December 21, 2017
Don’t overlook the hidden costs of legal marijuana
For those of us of a certain age, the term “snake-oil-salesman” is common to describe someone who will try to sell us something that will cure all our ills, heal our wounds and generally make our lives better with one simple product. For Coloradans that product is marijuana. At least, that’s the story the legalization crowd has been selling for many years now. What they generally don’t address is the cost to society of this miracle drug.
Recent surveys have reported that marijuana use among teens has gone down since legalization, but that’s not the entire story. Even if it’s true that fewer young people are lighting up than in years past, treatment providers are finding those students for whom pot has become a stumbling block in their lives have a different attitude than in the past.
With a pot dispensary seemingly on every corner, people are becoming more comfortable, if that’s the right word, with the increasing presence of marijuana in society, and that attitude is spreading to young people. Substance-abuse therapists are increasingly hearing that if pot use was really a problem, it wouldn’t be legal. After all, they hear alcohol isn’t a big deal. Students often don’t know the detrimental effects pot has on their developing brains and don’t want to hear about it.
Legalizing pot brings a lot of money into government coffers, so many Coloradans can overlook the impacts it’s having on society, especially on our kids. We ignore those effects at the expense of our future.
A big thanks to those who supported congressional tax bill
The final passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is an important and signature achievement of the current Congress, and those who voted for it should be justifiably proud of what they have done for the American people and economy. It is shameful that so many on the other side of the debate have chosen to demagogue the issue instead of putting aside ideological blinders and joining the House and Senate majorities in putting together the most important economic reform in decades.
Despite the distortions being spread about it, the tax reform bill will help, not hurt, the middle class. Small-business owners, employees and their families all will be allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money. Businesses will now be more competitive in the global marketplace that defines the modern economy and will finally have some flexibility to grow and offer new jobs and wage increases. While some popular deductions may have gone away, the tradeoff in lower rates is more than worth it. It is also refreshing to see the start of a rollback in the use of the tax code — i.e. other people’s money — to subsidize pet projects and engineer the desired behavior of the day.
Many people deserve thanks for the success of this effort – Jeff Wasden with the Colorado Business Round Table in particular, for his leadership, and the Job Creators Network for their proactive work – but the biggest thanks needs to go to Colorado U.S. Reps. Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, and Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, for their votes in favor of the legislation. On behalf of Colorado’s small-business owners and middle class — thank you.
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