It has a lot of proponents, both liberal and libertarian. But would the legalization of marijuana for the purpose of creating a new revenue stream for government be a good thing?
According to CNBC “The Kudlow Report” host Larry Kudlow, the way current California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to promote it isn’t for the purest of intentions, but just to bring in more revenue for his state’s beleaguered budget.
“ … Gov. Schwarzenegger, I mean he basically wants to get everybody stoned and then raise taxes,” Kudlow said on his May 12 broadcast. “Now I have a problem with that. If we raise taxes, we ought to do it in a sober way so people can lash back at it.”
Back in 2003, after former California Gov. Gray Davis was recalled, Schwarzenegger was elected on a socially liberal and conservatively fiscal platform, which Kudlow alleged Schwarzenegger didn’t live up to.
“The guy is desperate for revenue to finance his gigantic spending programs,” Kudlow said. “He’s really failed as a governor. When he beat Gray Davis a couple of years back, he was going to balance the budget, keep taxes down, stop spending. He’s failed at all that stuff. “
Kudlow called Schwarzenegger’s efforts to make marijuana legalization an issue in the public dialogue a distraction to divert attention from the other problems in his state.
“I have nothing against Gov. Schwarzenegger personally,” Kudlow added. “But I think the guy’s had a really bad term and I think this legalization of marijuana is a last-ditch attempt for him to stir the pot, almost to distract from his other problems.”
Some media outlets had actively covered the issue of marijuana legalization with the passing of April 20 – a significant date for many of the advocates of marijuana use. Many of those reports cited as a legalization benefit the potential source of revenue for government.