I’m receptive to the counter argument that alcohol (and pot) consumption comes at a great societal cost and for that reason stiff taxes are justifiable. As a longtime advocate for cannabis legalization I was almost constitutionally resistant to recognizing the dangers the drug presents to the individual and society. Further, I resisted acknowledging that normalizing pot through legalization would result in more widespread use, and an increase in its attendant ills. I quit smoking 14 years ago. I gave up the hooch at the same time. I’m confident that the taxes I paid on tobacco products over 35 years or so of heavy smoking don’t come close to approaching the cost of my medical care to address the damage that smoking did. We’ll all croak. Many (most?) of us enjoy an artificially altered state of consciousness, at least on occasion. I’m not one to deny a person that pleasure, but I’m not one to have that person push the cost of his recreation on to everyone else. In my drinking days I never found particularly burdensome the state of Washington’s monopoly on liquor retailing. I voted against the ballot measure that broke that monopoly, seeing how, for one thing, the taxes on liquor remained the same, so the prices didn’t come down at all.