I-502’s heavy taxation, under which marijuana is taxed 25 percent at each stage of the process (growing, processing, and retail), plus regular sales taxes, particularly incensed the liberty-loving Ventura.
“It’s ridiculous to have a special marijuana tax,” said Ventura, in an exclusive interview with Toke Signals. “Marijuana should be taxed the same as anything else you buy.”
The fact that the heavy taxation and onerous bureaucracy imposed in Washington under I-502 results in prices roughly double (or even triple) black market street prices highlights the absurdity of over-regulation.
“If people can get marijuana cheaper from the guy down the street where they’ve always gotten it, maybe that’s where they should go to get it,” Ventura said. “There’s no reason to pay insanely high taxes to give greedy politicians more spending money.”
According to Ventura, any legalization scheme which doesn’t include the right to grow your own cannabis at home is little more than a money grab by politicians and their rich friends. “That’s nonsense. You cannot let these people become the only source of marijuana; that’s not legalization,” Ventura told Toke Signals. “Politicians enjoy spending your money, and you’re being taken for a ride. Look at Colorado; that’s how it should be. They are allowing home growing.”
“Marijuana won’t be legalized because it’s the ‘right thing to do;’ it’ll be legalized because of the vast amount of money that can be made,” Ventura said. “When enough politicians and the general public realize how much money is on the table, marijuana will become legal very quickly.”
Ventura is definitely the happiest guy I’ve seen today. Appearing tan and relaxed in a sleeveless, tie-dyed t-shirt at his place in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (he splits his time between there and his home in Minnesota), Ventura said he didn’t expect any real leadership in the 2016 Presidential race from either the Republicans or the Democrats when it comes to the marijuana issue.“You’re not going to have either the Dem or the Repub nominee making a stand for marijuana legalization in 2016,” Ventura flatly predicted. “If you want that, I think you’re going to have to look elsewhere.”
Does that mean that Ventura himself, 63 years old now, perhaps might not be tired of politics? “Well, there’s not really a place for me in any state Legislature,” Ventura told us with a rueful chuckle. “I’m a little too outspoken to ever be in that position. I’ve been Mayor [of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota], and I’ve been Governor, so really the only place left for me to run for at this point, is President.”
And is that a possibility, Governor Ventura? “Well, I’ve really been enjoying the peace and quiet,” Ventura said with a laugh. “But something keeps telling me that big changes are about to happen in American politics, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of that.”
Should Ventura, the 38th governor of Minnesota (from 1999-2003) decide to be part of the 2016 Presidential race, he’ll wait until mid-2016 to throw his hat in the ring as a third-party candidate, he said. “I’m going to wait until the little guys are out of the race,” he said. “I only want to have to run against the top two guys.”“My question to you, and to the cannabis community, is would you guys support my candidacy financially if I decide to run for President?” said Ventura, currently the host of a TV show called Off The Grid.
The possible candidate then mentioned the physical toll being President has on anyone who takes the job. “Bill Clinton’s hair turned white while he was President,” Ventura pointed out. “Barack Obama will be completely white-haired before his term is up. What effect is that going to have on me? I don’t have hair!” Ventura said with a big laugh.
When asked if he used cannabis either medically or recreationally, former Navy SEAL Ventura said, “Are you kidding? I grew up in the 60s! I’ve tried it; I’ll put it that way,” he said with a smile.
“I remember one Jimi Hendrix concert in 1970; some of the best pot I ever smoked, and you didn’t even have to be high when you showed up,” Ventura said. “It would be passed to you, up and down the line. And the crowd was nice, mellow and peaceful.”
“Marijuana is to rock and roll what beer is to baseball,” Ventura said. “If you took away the beer from a baseball game, you’d have some very unhappy fans in the stadium. Well, it’s the same way with marijuana and music for those in our culture today, and they should receive the same respect.”
“The people of Washington deserve huge respect for passing a legalization law,” Ventura said. “Now they have to keep pushing their politicians until they get the legalization law they need.”
It’s High Time We Legalize It
Jesse Ventura offers his reasons that the government should wise up and make a little green off of the green growing in our backyards!