The stock market crash of 1929 was the beginning of the end of alcohol prohibition in this country, as the government discovered decimated sales and incomes left nothing to tax. Within four years, hooch and hooch taxes were back.
Raise your glass to the days when constitutional amendments could actually be repealed--and to the similar sobering economic realities overtaking Oakland when it comes to marijuana prohibition.
Tonight, the Oakland City Council--which is staring into a huge financial hole like so many other California municipalities--is set to vote on whether to set up and license four major marijuana factories.
The Guardian UK (is Oakland in their coverage area?) has the scoop.
These proposed factories would not be like the primo grow room in your cousin's basement.
Oakland's certified MaryJane-ufacturers would produce mass quantities for distribution to medical marijuana clinics, while also widgeting out related products like hemp body oil and baked goods.
The idea is to boost municipal coffers through taxes and permit fees on these big-bud boxes.
"Creating a regular, responsible, regulated permitting system to enable the creation and regulation of these industrial facilities is an important step in terms of public safety, providing jobs and revenue," Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who backs the plan, has reportedly said.
Actually, given that the proposal is being considered in advance of November's statewide legalization vote, this is pretty astute of Oakland's pro-factory farming forces.
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However, the most vehement opposition is not coming from the clergy, the cops and other assorted buzz-killers, but smaller growers around the state.
They argue Oakland's pot factories will destroy jobs and represent the "McDonalds-ization" of cannabis. Actually, it seems more like the "Walmartization" of cannabis, but we digress . . .
Kaplan countered in the Guardian piece that small growers can be fire hazards, citing fire department reports exposing the dangers from high-powered lamps used in grow rooms.
However it plays out in Oak-town, we should not be surprised that is is the first California city to consider marijuana factories as a revenue source. After all, it is the birthplace of those geniuses at Oaksterdam University.