Tuesday, 13 July 2010

New California Trend

There is an interesting piece by Pat Summers over at Fox News today....regarding marijuana and the possible direction of things.

Ten years ago.....I would never have envisioned any state or local government moving toward legal pot sales.....but today? It's a vast new world.

So the article in question goes over this study conducted by the Rand Corporation. These are the wiz kids and brilliant analytical folks....who sit and think about alot of things. Generally, you can respect anything they suggest.

So they suggest here....that if you were to legalize marijuana (at least within California only)....then you could see a price drop of 80 percent. This is like walking into McDonalds and suddenly your typical meal of $7 is now $1. It's like ordering a beer at your favorite bar and it's 15 cents. It's like going to the Chevy dealer and suddenly your $20k car is $4k.

Imagine such a world.

Naturally.....the guy who support marijuana want to put a California proposition up for voters....to make pot legal for anyone over 21 (at least in small amounts). Why they picked 21....is anyone's guess.

What is also being discussed quietly amongst the same supporters....is the tax effort on legalized sales. Most pot smokers would prefer no tax and I'm pretty sure this discussion is simply to make folks think there might be tax revenue gains from such a change. As Pat pointed out as he wrote this article.....there's another bill out there (may or may not pass) that puts a $50 tax on an ounce of pot. My guess is that it'll never pass (if it'd been $5, maybe it would have been legitimate to think about).

So where are we going? Well....sit back and imagine....you can guess the direction accurately. California will go 100 percent pot-free within five years and attempt to tax the product (that part will be a failure).

I don't see this as a wave. Few states will follow this....it'll be like the situation that Amsterdam has today in Europe.....with one liberal state and everyone else acting 'normal'.

So you can imagine these road-tours by a bunch of folks in Austin or Nashville or St. Louis.....all piling into a van and going out to California for ten days of R&R and heavy-duty pot usage. Maybe that'll be what saves California's revenue situation in the end.....with tens of thousands of folks crossing the border to smoke weed out in the desert for seven days straight, and then drive back to their state line.

My final observation or question? If you had one state where the price of pot drops by eighty percent....then what happens in the other 49 states? This brings up a major business question of how one effect topples over onto another effect. Frankly, there are no business models to suggest the outcome of an event like this.

The New Poll

The Pentagon last week....sent out a questionnaire to roughly 400,000 troops....to gauge their "gay" situation. It's the first time that they've wanted an opinion on this and actually made it official.

It'll be weeks before the final results are in and they let folks know what regular Army or Marine folks think, how Navy folks have certain issues here but not there. And the Air Force folks will chime in to let everyone know they still exist.

My guess is that the poll will have around sixty-five percent of the force who will agree they can handle gays in the military, with some reservations (barracks, deployment tents, and issues against gay marriage).

It'll be these reservations that bother the Pentagon guys in the end. You can't create special deployment tents for gay guys, gay gals, then straight guys, and straight gals. You can't run a barracks with shared rooms that are labeled straight room or gay room. And you can't guarantee gay marriage will not be ordered into effect by the President at some point.

So the best you can say....is that the entire debate goes to the next level with a lot of statistics that help very little. It's kinda like fixing a transmission with car manual in Japanese and three hundred illustrations. You can guess your way through this mess but the transmission is likely not going to be fixed right in the end.

My Trip

Yes, I'm back from my ten days of vacation in Germany.

First, as I grow older, I hate traveling by air more. I've made this trans-Atlantic flight around thirty times and I have no patience for it. Luckily, Air Canada offers around forty movies onboard (yes, even a pretty wild vampire movie with extreme graphic scenes which I thought was strange on a plane). The food is just as bad as ever. And you can always count on TSA at some point to make this a miserable experience.

Second, the heat in Germany is just as bad as in Virginia.....except they rarely have air conditioners. The big stores have them running, and you might find a pub or two with AC.....but everyone is going without the AC. You'd like to cool off and the only way is a outdoor pub under a tree.

Third, I've come back to notice that things are just about the same. Banking woes continue. The Arizona immigration business is still in full swing. Iraq and Afghanistan continue. And at least for another day or so, the Gulf leak continues (the lab folks say they just might have it plugged by this weekend.....maybe).

And what did I miss? Well....my office co-workers sent me an email while I was gone and apparently the DC area METRO (my means of getting to work via bus and train).....apparently lost a couple of rail cars for a while in their system. They actually couldn't find them and had to do a special hunt to locate them (you just can't have lost cars on the books, you know).

Yep, just about normal.

TSA Pizza

It was an interesting piece from the local Federal News Radio station guys in Arlington today....TSA now advertises on pizza boxes.

Course, they didn't mention the pizza company they pulled these from, and I'm guessing it's a small no-name pizza place.

I have a fairly low opinion of TSA to start with....they are one step above wannabe cops in Mississippi or Alabama (the guys who get hired by their cousin because they can't find real work and they watched TJ Hooker as a kid).

When you go through an airport today, it's a fifty-fifty chance that you've got some washed-up cop playing TSA agent and they want to impress you with their vast knowledge. After twenty seconds, you realize you've got some idiot in front of you and you wonder why you didn't drive or take the train.

Yeah, so these pizza ad's make perfect sense.