'Sin' taxes sending pot profits up in smoke: Kennedy

You think California would be a natural laboratory of democracy for cannabis with all its free love and damn hippies, but its first year of legal recreational weed has been a mixed dime bag.

Taxes, regulations and lack of banking are killing dispensary owners, and what was projected to be a billion dollar a year industry out the gate has only brought in a paltry $471 million. I spend more than that in a quarter on shoes and Uber rides!

California has a triple mark up of sin taxes that adds up to a staggering 34% in excise, city, county and state taxes. Everyone has their sticky fingers in the weed cookie jar, and those statist law makers have the munchies for customers crumbs!

Alaska has the best cannabis tax system, and it's the only legal recreational state that isn't overburdened with social engineering *sin* taxes that are trying to rid you of your bad habits by economic force. Alaska has no excise tax on weed, and in fact the only tax is a $50 per ounce surcharge on growers selling to dispensaries.

Is that so hard, Jerry Brown, you fiddling fussbudget?? Hopefully incoming governor Gavin Newsome will be a little more thoughtful with future taxes and regulations.

As you know marijuana is still scheduled as a controlled substance that's considered as dangerous and addictive as heroin, so growers and dispensary owners cannot deduct *any* cannabis expenses from their federal taxes. That also means banking is a tricky mistress and most transactions are done in cash. Which means people are easy robbery targets and have to spend a lot of money hiring legit thugs to guard their stashes and cashes.

Legal cannabis should mean freedom, but you are not freed when you're subjected to statist greed. Legal marijuana could be a perfect green wall against narco terrorists who've relied on a rich demand that can now be legally pacified. Instead the still thriving black market is undercutting legitimate suppliers by offering cheaper, tax free products that are making legal gains go up in smoke.