I'm a libertarian. That means that I generally think the government should stay out of your private life. There are a fair number of misconceptions about libertarianism, many of them made up and promulgated by people who are either ignorant or opposed to the philosophy, but that's not the point of this post. This post is about marijuana legalization. I happen to be in favor of legalization.
<off topic rant>Now don't get all up on your high horse about the costs to society of drugs. I know the costs first hand. I still think that people should get to make their own choices and that they should pay for those choices themselves, not with money taken from me at the point of a gun by the government. That is the difference between me and a liberal I guess. We agree on free choice but we disagree on who bears the costs.< /off topic rant>
Well, there's a snag in the legalization movement. Banks won't take your money if your business is to grow or sell marijuana. Turns out that the federal government can still prosecute banks for dealing in the proceeds of the drug trade, state law notwithstanding. So banks are taking the safe road and refusing to open accounts for marijuana businesses. If they find out that your account is being used for that type of business, they generally close it. By default, then, these businessmen (and women, yes, I know, it's a word that means anyone running a business, get over it) have to do their business in cash. How would you like to have to carry $51,000 in cash down to the department of revenue to pay your taxes?
With both Colorado and Washington having made their own decisions, and with other states poised to follow, one has to wonder whether Congress will act and return this power to the states where it rightfully belongs.