The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted to approve a ballot measure that would funnel medical marijuana tax proceeds to combat the epidemic of homelessness in the area. Recently, there has been a 12% increase in homelessness around the area, and the proposed tax would allow Los Angeles to undergo a nearly $2 billion housing project.
The board voted in the measure with a 3-2 count. Those opposing the initiative hold the belief that the measure would ultimately hurt patients who rely on medical marijuana because of the increased prices.
In order for California to implement the measure, a 2/3 vote in favor of the tax is needed. Since votes on tax increases of any kind typically see a poor approval rating leading into elections, the measure’s fate is uncertain. Californians have now been placed in a moral conundrum. Do you want to help the less fortunate, at the cost of the sick? Or would you rather help the sick, at the cost of the less fortunate? Not an easy problem to face in a voting booth.
If passed, the measure is estimated to generate approx. $130 million a year in tax revenue that would be directly applied to building the housing project, treatment facilities, and subsidies for low-income housing. Although, tax revenue would not be able to be collected until 2018.