Oklahoma is facing a $416-million budget shortfall for 2020. Next year’s shortfall is estimated to be $1.3 billion. Recreational marijuana could add $100 million in tax dollars to the state’s piggy bank — not to mention new revenue from weed tourism — and it doesn’t take a millionaire mortgage lender banned from doing business in Georgia to see the opportunity.
Between visits to crowded food courts, haircuts and Covid-19 press conferences, Gov. Stitt recently took some time to give Tulsa’s ABC affiliate his thoughts on leveraging a recreational marijuana program to help keep our state on the right side of bankruptcy.
Via Channel 8:
Governor Stitt said that he doesn’t think legalizing recreational marijuana will help with the billion-dollar budget shortfall. When asked on Channel 8 if he’d look at taxing it to raise revenue, Stitt said that Oklahoma already has a relaxed medical marijuana law, and legalizing recreational wouldn’t do much.
Does Stitt not understand the relatively lax nature of our medical marijuana program has nothing to do with the potential to tax the shit out of a recreational program? Maybe it doesn’t make a difference to him, but the tax generated from creating a separate recreational program would help fund education, healthcare and other social programs that suffer when the money dries up.
Our esteemed governor has proven time and again he has no fucks to give for education, healthcare or social programs, so we get it. But instead of saying it ‘wouldn’t make a difference,’ Gov. Stitt should have been a straight-shooter and simply admitted he doesn’t get a budget boner over any spending category that benefits people.
Instead, he downplayed it:
“By calling it recreational, I don’t think you have any more users or any more tax revenue off of that. Pretty much, it looks a lot like recreational in our state as well,” said Stitt.
Is he serious? Of course there would be more users — including from other states! We already have the groundwork laid for a great recreational market. Hello, weed tourism dollars!
I concede that Oklahoma’s medical program looks a lot like recreational-with-a-fee. But there are plenty of people who don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a physician recommendation, doing the paperwork, taking the worse-than-a-mugshot photo and spending a couple hundred bucks in fees…just to smoke a joint now and then. Not to mention the people whose profession might keep them from wanting their names on a list of people who smoke weed.
Common sense isn’t all Gov. Stitt offended with his comments. He poked the bear known as Danna “Typo-Prone” Malone of Ye Old Apothecary, and she’s not having it!
“We have our governor saying, your program is already recreational. That’s bull, that’s unacceptable,” said Danna Malone. “I voted for him. I will not vote for him again.”
She’s so livid, in fact, she almost said “bullshit!” No doubt Gov. Stitt is grieving the loss of her very important potential future vote, but what we can’t get over is that she didn’t vote for Joe Exotic. What bull, Danna!
Our state is in crisis and has been since well before Coronavirus. Oil and gas keeps tanking, with no end in sight; look where putting all our eggs in that basket has gotten us! Will a recreational marijuana program swoop in and save us? No. But creating a new recreational marijuana program will create a new stream of taxation and boost tourism. To what degree of success is up to us.
—Dear Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission: Weed Mom is still waiting…