How Arnold Schwarzenegger still manages to get away with calling himself a Republican is anybody's guess, what with his love of inflated budgets and his kind of "meh" response to the whole gay marriage issue. And now, amazingly, he has even suggested that we might start talking about legalizing recreational pot use and taxing it -- a notion so radical that not even your most liberal hippie Democratic governor would dare to speak of it.
"Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"
Whoa hey stop right there, buster! Where do you think we live, Europe?
It could raise over $1.2 billion a year in new tax revenues, assuming a $50-an-ounce tax, according to one analysis.
Well then, in that case ... this seems like a fine solution to our current financial crisis! As any marijuana fiend will tell you, even when there's no money for food or rent, there's always room for the Demon Mary Jane. Even the poorest and most foreclosed among us will scrape together a few cents, plus a few cents' tax, for pot. It's a recession-proof, budget-strengthening, deficit-reducing little weed that will also have a stimulating effect on our sagging junk food and sugary beverage sectors.
In short, this Schwarzenegger character seems quite determined to turn California into a socialist haven for drug fiends, and if it all works out well, who knows, maybe the whole country will follow suit.