Organized Crime in the 21st Century.

Al Capone. Mugshot information from Science an...
Al Capone. Mugshot information from Science and Society Picture Gallery: Al Capone (1899-1947), American gangster, 17 June 1931. ‘Al Capone sent to prison. This picture shows the Bertillon photographs of Capone made by the US Dept of Justice. His rogue’s gallery number is C 28169’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another development occurred a couple of days ago which, although far from unique, is to me a prime example of the workings of what has become the best group of racketeers in at least recent history.

Most people have surely heard of it, but I am sure that the majority of people, when hearing of it, also immediately dismissed its relevance thinking that it did not apply to them. This event was the approval of a 25% tax on marijuana in Colorado.

What does this have to do with organized crime? Let’s break it down into a stages.

In the 2012 elections, the idea of legalizing marijuana had finally won enough support to have a chance in a few states. Colorado was one of these. The war on drugs was coming to be viewed as the abject failure which it is on the surface, and the legalization of marijuana was viewed, rightly so, as necessary for the advancement of liberty.

Initially, all governments oppose legalization of any kind of drugs, because some people will vote for them based on the perceived benefit of these bans, and the simple fact that most state and local governments have the option of receiving federal funds for the war on drugs, and can also use these bans as an excuse to raise more of their own taxes.

I started hearing something during this 2012 referendum process that indicated to me what was likely to happen at a later date. Some people started pushing forth the notion of “legalize, but tax.” The frequency of this call, and the rapidity with which it was spread, caused me to believe that the government and the supporters of the prohibition of marijuana suspected that they were going to lose the vote. I began to believe that they were starting to develop their contingency plan for the likely loss of prohibition revenue.

As expected, liberty won out in the beginning, with the ending of the marijuana prohibition. The fight was not over though, even though many thought that it was and celebrated for a short time, and then walked away from the field. The contingency was put into effect.

“We need money for the schools! We have to help the children!” The call rang out according to plan. But where to get the money? Aha! Let’s tax marijuana! Who would have thought? Isn’t it starting to look like a setup?

Colorado lost funding as a result of the end of the marijuana prohibition, and wanting to replace these funds, it seems clear that this was planned from the minute it became apparent that they might lose the referendum. Helping the children is one of the best excuses ever.

Now we are seeing the all too common result of liberty activists winning the fight, then sitting down when their initial goals are met. The state does not sit down. It does not stop. It does not give up. It’s kind of like the terminator. Now the government apparatus, while seeming to lose, has actually gained a minimum 20% cut of the now legal marijuana trade in Colorado. Al Capone would be, I think, quite impressed. The new marijuana cartel in Colorado is the state. Pay them their substantial cut and you are free to do business, Fail to pay up, and you can look forward to either cage or coffin.

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