By Nathan Barton
The Socialist Workers Paradisical Democracy of Berkeley has again proved that the idiocy of the drone classes knows no limits. The Bezerkley City Council and Mutual Admiration League has dictated (democratically, OF course) that the three (now four) medical cannabis shops in the city limits must henceforth give away 2% of the cannabis they sell each year to the “very poor.” (You know, as I recall, that was the first level for the federal income tax: just two percent of all incomes over $10,000 (which in those days of $20/ounce gold was a FABULOUS sum: 500 ounces of gold. And only 10 had to be paid to Uncle Sugar. Of course, THAT changed.) Back to Berkeley: of course, this is all in the best interests of the poor, and to make these barons of medical MJ industry accept social responsibility instead of just living off the sweat of the working (or is it “non-working”) classes in socialist utopia.
What’s wrong with that, you say? Don’t the poor deserve to have their medicine too? And we all know that the health insurance companies (evil corporate monsters that they are) won’t spring for the weed, and definitely the free clinics in East Oakland and elsewhere aren’t going to shell out free tokes. Here’s a few reasons:
(1) It is government -controlled redistribution of wealth, ultimately at the point of a gun (the cops are going to have fun enforcing this, right?)
(2) It will drive the cost up, by at least 2% (not counting other regulatory costs associated with it), which means that there will be those middle and lower income folks who aren’t poor enough to qualify for the free stuff (which MUST, the City Masters dictate, be of the same quality as what is sold: no stems or floor sweepings, please) may get priced out.
(3) As Reason pointed out, it makes forging (or bribing a doctor type for) a cannabis prescription a desirable thing to do for the poor who want the pot for its recreational use and NOT medical purposes.
(4) It is highly likely that quality will suffer. Even 2% additional costs in a competitive and highly regulated market can make a big difference in margin and keeping companies going. It might even lead to one or more of the shops closing.
(5) Two percent of pot this year, why not five percent next year and ten percent the year after that. Another reason for those pesky city-limit-jumpers to move from Oakland to Berkeley: free mary jane! And if it is MJ this year, why not other medical items next year? After all, those regular pharmacies are all owned by a bunch of fatcats living off the people. Why not 2% of HIV drugs and 2% of Prozac and Valium and the lack.
Not surprisingly (this is Berkeley CALIFORNIA, after all), none of the local population seemed worried by it: most thought it a good idea. California is indeed a socialist’s fondest dream, and dragging the rest of the nation down into the depths of Tranzi horror.
Mama’s Note: In a free market, vendors and growers would likely be happy to give away some of their product, for lots of reasons. A great many people, even if “poor” by some standard, would be willing and able to grow their own. But of course that isn’t “allowed.” So much for their concern for the poor.