Smoking pot

smoking potIs illegal, right? We all know this, so we would not dream of doing it. The illegality is in interest of public health, as for example driving a car under the influence of marijuana can lead to terrible accidents.

The usual counterargument by legelizers reads that so is driving a car under the influence of alcohol – in fact, driving while drunk cause more than 10,000 deaths annually in the US alone, while stoned driving – which does not enjoy the same level of statistical and scientific understanding – may cause around 1,500 / 2,000. So if selling cannabis is illegal, so should be whiskey; the Prohibitionism period however taught us what happens then.

Anyway my point is somewhat different and relates not to pot, but to gambling; a big source of tax revenues, not only gambling is legal, but it is incentivized.

Slot machineAccording to studies, between 2% and 5% of all population suffers from Compulsive Gambling, leading to family ruin and making Nevada the US state with the most suicide attempts for the last 12 years.

It is funny how the same (often conservative) governments citing deaths caused by stoned driving as an important reason to keep cannabis illegal, seem not to care too much for the tenfold death toll caused by alcohol.

The same polarized perception must have led the same governments who increased VAT to 21% or 22% on many primary goods in Europe, to only levy 3% on bets (when not the paltry 0.8% on some Internet based casinos).

Bread pays 4% VAT – just sayin’…

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