Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, December 5, 2010
ISSUE #632
End of Prohibition could balance budget, and more

Dec. 5, 2010

COLUMBUS: Here’s good news from Washington tonight on WikiLeaks. President Obama has ordered all Federal employees without a security clearance to “avoid reading any classified documents from WikiLeaks.” Six billion other people have read them, but for government workers they are off limits.

I want to assure our federal workers that nothing in this column is classified. You’re free to keep on reading. It is pure coincidence if any of my disparaging or humorous remarks about a foreign dignitary sound like they were uttered by an Ambassador.

On this day 77 years ago, Prohibition ended. The 21st Amendment wiped out the 18th Amendment but it had little effect on the amount that was drunk. After fourteen years, Americans could once again “have a sociable drink without watching the door.”

This got me thinking about other things we Prohibit. What if we took off the prohibition of marijuana? I ain’t in favor of it, but imagine how it could turn out. California held a vote to legalize it November 2, but it failed because too many proponents started celebrating early and totally missed the election. If California farmers started growing thousands of acres of it like they do alfalfa and other crops, they could make a good living selling it for $200 a ton. California could tax it a dollar an ounce and balance the state budget.

The big city legislators would be overjoyed and vote to give the farmers all the irrigation water they need.  Minnows be damned. All those tunnels under the Mexican border would come in handy to ship it the other way.

We export 80 percent of the cotton we grow and if we took over the world market in marijuana we could wipe out the trade deficit. If we expanded this idea to include Opium poppies, why it might even stop a war. Afghanistan poppy growers couldn’t compete with American farmers, and without those profits the Taliban is out of business.

Of course, this is foolishness. But no more foolish than some of the blabber coming out of Congress on why they can’t pass an income tax bill, an appropriations bill or an estate tax bill.

Oregon and Auburn finished undefeated and will play for the football championship. TCU was also unbeaten but they’ll have to be content trying to knock off Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Our system of deciding a football champion may have its defects and flaws, but at least we won’t make them fight it out in 120 degree heat in Qatar.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

“(Here’s) what is happening to the youth of this country through drugs. Talk about our crime waves, it’s nothing but Heroin. They have got to rob to supply the dope. Talk about profit. Opium from the time a certain amount leaves its original owner until it is split up into all its various ingredients and passes through all the hundreds of hands, increases in value nine thousand times. Talk about bootlegging and doubling your money.” WA #242, Aug. 14, 1927


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