RUSH: Here’s Matt in Jacksonville, Florida. Hi, Matt. Glad you waited. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush?
CALLER: Hey, how you doing, man? Been listening to you since I was 5, 6 years old, you know, with my daddy. (laughing) Yeah. I’m beyond myself right now to be able to call you. It’s an honor, sir. I got giddy when I heard Snerdley’s voice, so what I’m want to bring up is — and it goes deeper, and I want you to understand that this issue goes deeper than I’m gonna speak on than just the surface of, “Oh, it’s medical marijuana, and that’s the issue.” Why is it…? Because after a lot of reflection, I consider myself — and I hate labels, but I’ve determined two labels for myself —
RUSH: You know what? Hey, dude? Hang on. I just discovered that I misread the clock. I’ve only got a minute. Can you hang on through the break? I thought I had more time than I have in this segment.
RUSH: Can you hang on, dude? Okay, cool. Don’t go away because we’ll be back. We’re talking marijuana here, I think.
RUSH: Okay, back to Matt in Jacksonville. You’re talking about medical marijuana. You want to know why it is a liberal issue. You want to know why there’s politics attached to it at all? Is that your question?
CALLER: Well, my thing is, Rush, as I said, I’m a constitutional Libertarian. It took a lot of reflection and it took a lot for me to even give myself any kind of label. Christian, constitutional Libertarian.
CALLER: I’m a Millennial. I’m 26 years old. I watch Fox News all the time. Every time it’s an issue about social issues it’s like, you know, the conservatives, all these talking heads, “Oh, medical marijuana,” why is it such an issue? It’s more than just medical marijuana. It’s about liberty. It’s about liberty to do what I want to do, as long as I don’t affect anybody else. It can be controlled, you know, 18 years old, if you’re caught with it before 18, then, you know, all that, just like cigarettes, 18 years old you make your own decision.
RUSH: I’m gonna answer your question for you. In the first place Matt, learn something, please. Everything is political to political people.
CALLER: But why?
RUSH: Everything is. The reason medical marijuana is — medical marijuana is seen as simply a ruse to be able to get marijuana, period. Now, if you’ll notice, nobody ever mentions how having marijuana on the ballot in a lot of states in 2012 helped drive the Millennial turnout, but it did. Having medical marijuana or marijuana, period, on the ballot in 2012 really ratcheted up the turnout of people your age. To people in politics, that’s politics. There’s a political reason why you showed up. Therefore there is a political appeal they think will resonate with you. Now, to you, if you’re being honest, you just want the freedom and liberty. If you need some marijuana for a medical reason, or whatever, you should be able to get it. It’s your life, it’s your body, you’re not hurting anybody.
CALLER: Exactly. I’m free. I’m a free citizen. What I put in my body — I don’t — okay, drug dealers dealing to kids, yeah, that’s bad. But when you get rid of the criminal element and it’s been proven, when you get rid of the criminal element, it’s not a big issue. It’s not like, “Oh, my God, I’m doing something bad.” No, it becomes — you know how many people older than me, and I’m 26 speaking as, look, I don’t do it all the time; when I do, it’s for a reason, but I can go to bed every night without it. My point is, it’s my choice whether I do it. But keep in mind, this goes beyond just medical marijuana. It’s the biggest issue right now —
RUSH: Okay, I understand. What about if you liked heroin instead of marijuana, would you have the same attitude about it?
CALLER: That becomes debate, and there’s debate. I don’t agree with it, but I believe someone should be at liberty to make their own choice.
RUSH: And that’s why you’re a Libertarian?
CALLER: Liberty is to make your own choice without government intervention.
RUSH: Right. I understand that. It’s an age-old argument, and it often delves into the role of public morality. The most common refute or refutation to your argument would be, “But it’s not just affecting you, Matt. By your using this drug, it’s affecting your employer, if you have one, because it’s gonna impact your performance.” This is what they say. It’s gonna impact your family. You don’t do anything in a vacuum. Nobody does. And whereas you may think it’s a totally personal choice that has no effect on anybody else, public morality says otherwise.
But regardless, whether that is something you believe or not, if government realizes that there’s money in it via regulation, then they’ll turn it as political as necessary to get the money out of it. And if they see that the primary constituency group that wants this is young people, then, bammo, they’re gonna really politicize that. They’re gonna turn it into an issue to make you a voter. If they determine that’s all you care about, then there’s gonna be a political party that comes along to make you think that’s all they care about, you getting your marijuana, and they’ll promise you, and they’ll do whatever they can to get you to turn out and vote.
Everything becomes political in that regard. In this country, the image of a marijuana smoker is liberal Democrat, not constitutional Libertarian. It’s liberal Democrat, radical activist. This is the image that’s associated with it. Most people interested in marijuana are assumed to be voters for Democrats.
Now, there’s a story here about this. It’s in USA Today. Basically it’s about how the government can’t wait to just start taxing the hell out of this. “More than 50 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that even those who make their money illegally have to pay taxes. Under today’s tax code the government stands to make more money from the sale of marijuana than those selling it legally.
“Voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, DC, will decide Tuesday whether to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana. But any new pot shops that voters approve may not be able to survive a drug war-era tax code that already threatens many businesses in Colorado and Washington state. Under this tax code the federal government stands to make more money from the sale of marijuana than those legally selling it. And that could be enough to shut down many shops.”
Here are the pull quotes. “West works for an association of more than 750 cannabis-related businesses across the United States, and says that 280E results in her clients paying more than 70% of their profits in taxes to the federal government. … ‘A lot of times, instead of paying a tax rate that should be 30 to 40%, they are paying rates between 80 or 90%,’ Cornelius, the accountant, said. ‘I even have a client right now that is paying more than 100% effective tax rate.’
The bottom line is that people who sell marijuana legally, the government’s gonna make more money off of them in taxes than they’re gonna make selling the product to customers. Drug-war-era law gives the government the right to tax the profits of the sale of it at 80 to 90%. And if you want to know why there are efforts to legalize it, that’s all you need to know. It’s not about you exercising your freedom. It’s not that people want you to be able to get it, Matt. It’s not that people want you to get medical treatment. That’s all a bunch of BS.
They’re looking at it as a source of new revenue because we’re out of money, and they’re gonna exploit you and everybody like you as best they can. So now we’re not talking about just medical marijuana in these states that’s on the ballot. This is recreational, because the federal government, the IRS, is looking at a tax rate of 80 to 90% on it, on the profits in legal marijuana stores. Follow the money, Matt, particularly in politics, and practically every question you have will be answered.