He smoked or did not smoke-that was not the question

The Minister of Finance, Yair Lapid, has smoked a joint in his life. This does not really matter. What matters is that the finance minister is in complete contradiction to the national economic interest in his abstention from acting for legalization that will contribute greatly to the national economy. Perry, who is also an economist by education, explains the contribution of legalization to the Israeli economy.

By: Lior Perry

One of the most meaningless questions in my opinion lately is the question of whether the finance minister Yair Lapid, Who states publicly that he never smoked a joint, telling the truth.

On the one hand, it does not seem reasonable that a fifty-year-old man from the class and society of Lapid, a person who has spent his entire life in the communications field, has not experienced drugs (although Lapid admits that he does consume drugs that are far worse than cannabis - alcohol and cigarettes). On the other hand, what does it matter. Smoked or not smoked, took a yacht but not into the lungs (see Bill Clinton). It really is meaningless.

A truly enlightened person, even if he has never smoked cannabis, will still be a proponent of legalization (they never inquired whether Yaron London or Moshe Feiglin smoked Cannabis, but their liberal and logical views are welcome). A hypocritical and hypocritical man, he may have smoked many times in his youth, but in accepting a senior position, he will change his skin and oppose the welcome legalization.

Therefore, for me, less than a year if Yair Lapid smoked or not smoked, what matters to me is that the finance minister, by not supporting legalization, is in complete contradiction to the economic interest of the state.

It costs us dearly

At the time I wrote about The crazy cost, Absurd and delusional, of every old case opened against a normative person whose many sins he had smoked an innocent joint. In addition to the huge expenses that the state spends on the delusional struggle for cannabis consumption for its own use, the ban on cannabis also causes the state to lose huge sums of money and not realize the enormous economic potential of a whole market of popular and popular products.

The starting point of analyzing state losses from the lack of legalization of cannabis is that cannabis is a product that the public will consume in any case. Legal or illegal, available or unavailable, expensive or cheap, it is a popular consumer product that the public likes and wants. It is possible to be against it, it can be against it, it can be outlawed and it can be fought, but it is impossible to prevent the public from consuming it. Now, if hundreds of thousands of people consume it, and its market is very large, why give up its enormous economic contribution?

Take a moment to look at the cannabis market from a net economic perspective, while completely ignoring social, legal, health, and other aspects. Anyone who imports cannabis to Israel can not pay taxes, customs, etc., because the import is illegal, so he has no choice but to avoid tax payments for the import. Even the Cannabis Tower can not, of course, report to the state the extent of its produce and pay taxes on its profits. That's how it goes throughout the cannabis distribution chain. The retail and wholesaler (ie dealer and supplier) are also forced to work in "black" ie without receipts, invoices and reporting to the tax authorities about their income. Anyone who buys, sells, mediated in the various cannabis transactions, was forced to not only be a "drug felon" but also a tax offender.

Once the entire cannabis market, which generates hundreds of millions of shekels a year, is made in "black", "cash" without receipts, invoices, VAT and income tax payments, the state loses huge sums it could get from people who would love to pay taxes. That it prohibits those individuals from reporting the same economic activity.

Great economic potential

But the legalization of cannabis has many other effects on the Israeli market. If the cannabis was legal, it would be possible to establish many farms to grow cannabis in the many areas we have in the country, for example to fulfill the vision of flowering the Negev. Each such farm would provide employment for many, cannabis growers would pay taxes legally, and would pay the income tax and social security funds for the workers' salaries, and everyone would benefit from it. The Ministry of Health oversaw the quality of cannabis, and apart from the fact that consumers would have received a better product, it would have provided a livelihood for various laboratories.

The state could also impose taxes on cannabis (and even subsidize medical cannabis by profits from cannabis intended for non-medical use). But that's just the beginning. Raising legal cannabis would also provide a livelihood for shippers, marketers, wholesalers and retailers alike, and this is just one side of the coin.

There are of course many other aspects of the effects of legalization. Today, for example, a person who makes a living by selling cannabis, not only does not pay income tax for this work, he also signs unemployment and receives money from the National Insurance Institute. Regulation of the issue will result in the fact that instead of receiving money from the National Insurance Institute, he will allocate money to the institution that will be allocated to the real needy. Even those who import cannabis will pay import taxes, and state revenues will increase.

So far, we have talked only about the direct contribution of cannabis to the economy, but there are many more. Whether it's exporting Cannabis abroad (which will improve the country's economic balance), whether it's a huge contribution to tourism (look at Amsterdam, for example). Some of the tourists come for the Anne Frank Museum and some for the Coffee Shop.) In general, making cannabis legal, which means turning the cannabis market into a normal, formal and formal economic market, will make a huge contribution to the Israeli economy. Imagine thousands of young people coming down to settle in the Negev, working on farms for growing cannabis, imagining masses of coffee shops packed with tourists, imagine a world in which cannabis sells income tax and cannabis prices add VAT as much as any other product.

There is no doubt that Yair Lapid, as finance minister, was supposed to fight address Legalization, and not because he smoked or did not smoke a joint in the past, but out of concern for the Israeli economy, which, every year, gives up hundreds of millions of shekels from the cannabis market.

The writer, Lior Perry, Is an attorney and economist, with a BA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Haifa.

see also: the show must go on
see also: Gadi Wilcharsky lights a joint with Yair Lapid

Your stage!

Want to publish opinion column?

Cannabis fines

(Starting with 1 in April 2019)

Based on a figure revealed by Minister Erdan. Police refuse to reveal official figureDetails here)

Back to top button