We all know that the quality and value of a college education has been compromised from what it once was. A master’s degree is the new bachelor’s. But is a college degree literally “going to pot”?
According to Red Alert Politics:
High school senior Byron Ochoa, a participant in the Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum, penned an op-ed in the paper that states should consider legalizing recreational marijuana, taxing it, and using the revenue to make schools more affordable.
Ryan Girdusky of RAP goes onto explain why Ochoa’s proposal is likely not feasible in practical economic terms:
Tax revenue by the states should be based off of a solid, stable, and adequate tax policy… There’s also a bigger problem that revenue on sin taxes jump from year to year and are not reliable, especially for a growing industry like higher education.
Colorado’s revenue from the pot tax pales in comparison to the states spending on higher education. Marijuana brought in just $73 million, just 3 percent of the state’s $2.365 billion it spends on higher education. That does include the trade and vocational programs that the $73 million would also be allocated to in Ochoa’s proposal.
Going beyond practical economic terms there is an even bigger problem with Ochoa’s proposal, even if it were to produce steady revenue enough to fund these universities and colleges. The marijuana smoker shouldn’t have to pay a tax on his pot so someone can get a free ride to college, especially since he’s probably still paying off his own student loans.
Ironically, a majority of pot smokers are probably college students anyway, so it would likely turn out that they would end up paying for their own college education anyway, albeit indirectly. Most of them are probably too high most of the time anyway to even realize. Understand however, that while I poke fun at the stoners, I have nothing against them. I believe that if you want to smoke pot recreationally you should be free to do so.
But I digress, even if this were to work it would only further undermine the college education. If students get a free ride to a college education, it won’t be as important to them as if they had paid for it themselves, because they aren’t having to actually work for their education. In addition they are also likely to get lower grades as they are not going to care as much because they aren’t paying for it. Many people will go to college just because they don’t know what else to do and all their friends are doing it. These people don’t really care about college, and are going to spend most of their time partying. When you make college “free” everyone is going to go which will undermine the value of getting a college degree. While college may not be going to pot literally, it certainly is figuratively.