President Obama Backs Proposal to Legalize Marijuana, Tax Junk Food
April 1, 2013
President Obama and the First Lady today expressed high praise for a congressional proposal that would legalize marijuana while at the same time imposing a 60 percent excise tax on junk food, candy, and soda.
“It’s time that we recognize personal freedom to put what we want into our bodies,” said Mr. Obama, referring to the marijuana proposal. “At the same time, we should take action to address Americans’ poor nutrition choices, which the citizens of this country are inflicting on themselves.”
The bill, the Making the US Newly Capable by Halting Imprisonment of Errant Smokers (or MUNCHIES) Act, is projected to raise nearly $1 trillion in new federal revenue over the next decade. The funds would be earmarked for the creation and upkeep of a new White House “herb” garden, with language suggesting that Vice President Joe Biden has “dibs” on the first harvest.
Some Republicans have voiced their disapproval of the bill. Former presidential contender Rick Santorum was especially vocal on condemning the marijuana legalization: “The bill is completely wrong: marijuana is dangerous and should stay illegal. But also, big government Democrats should not control Americans’ grocery store choices.”
In related tax news, the Congressional Research Service released two new studies: one finding that even a modest carbon tax would reduce carbon emissions significantly, while the other found that even a large income tax increase would have no impact on hours Americans work.