The new “scandal” economy, comprised of the fundamentalist nightmare trifecta of pot, gay marriage and sex. Could we create and exploit such a situation? Sure we could, but only if we lived on a rogue island nation in the Caribbean.
Are there millions to be made from a legalization/taxation scheme involving government and marijuana? You’d sure think so (indeed, we editorialized positively about this in the Jan. 22 issue). I mean, pot seems to be at least as popular as Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Now, is it going to be a gigantic headache to even think about setting up a taxed distribution system when you’ve got an agency like the DEA running amok? Absolutely. One showdown in court could change the whole paradigm, yes, but right now, it’s a mess.
OK, gay marriage. A future industry here, ripe for taking? One would have to guess yes, that there appears to be a fairly large pool of participants who wanna play. Unfortunately, it’s an untouchable opportunity. The big problem is recognition of legality. Gay couples coming here from Oregon and Florida to get married won’t bother if they can’t go home and have the thing “count,” so to speak. What good is a disrespected marriage license? So the potential is obvious, but, once again, there are simply too many bureaucratic hurdles in the way. In 10 years, maybe five, some of those hurdles might finally be swept away. But for now, the chapels of Nevada must remain totally hung up on that whole male/female trad thing.
Which brings us to sex. Recently, a legislator from Vegas brought up the possibility of brothels being made legal in Clark and Washoe counties. If the ’09 legislature has any sense at all, it will look seriously at such a proposal.
It’s not such a big deal up here in the north. After all, there are two quality bordellos right on I-80, only eight miles east of town (and in Storey County, in case you wondered why those flashing red ranches are where they are). In Vegas, though, it’s a much different story. The nearest brothels are in Pahrump, 60 miles away. It’s a long, boring drive. Especially at 1:30 in the morning after you’ve downed that ninth beer. Which explains why there are hundreds and hundreds of girls illegally working the hotels every night, collecting thousands and thousands of bucks that remain completely outside the system. Over time, we’re talking about some solid money that could be taxed and ultimately stashed in the state treasury. With Las Vegas, you’ve got a city that touts itself as The World Capitol of Randy Behavior, where everything that happens there, stays there. So why, then, is prostitution illegal? It’s nothing short of insane. What the hell, build some multi-million dollar sex ranches on the outskirts of the Strip and harness the hard-working hooker hurricane!