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Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say
LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 90836
04-18-2012 12:21 AM

 



Post: #1
Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say
Your plans to celebrate 4/20 this Friday could actually make the government some money, if only such activities were legal. That’s according to a bunch of economists, and some prominent ones too.

More than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.

That's as much as $13.7 billion per year, but it's still minimal when compared to the federal deficit, which hit $1.5 trillion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While the economists don't directly call for pot legalization, the petition asks advocates on both sides to engage in an "open and honest debate" about the benefits of pot prohibition.

"At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition," the petition states.

The economic benefits of pushing pot into mainstream commerce have long been cited as a reason to make the drug legal, and the economists' petition comes as government officials at both the federal and local levels are looking for ways to raise funds. The majority of Americans say they prefer cutting programs to increasing taxes as a way to deal with the nation’s budget deficit -- marijuana legalization would seemingly give the government money wtihout doing either.

Officials in one state have already made the economic argument for pot legalization, but to no avail. California Democratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano proposed legislation in 2009 to legalize marijuana in California, arguing that it would yield billions of dollars in tax revenue for a state in dire need of funds. California voters ultimately knocked down a referendum to legalize marijuana in 2010.

Economist Stephen Easton wrote in Businessweek that the financial benefits of pot legalization may be even bigger than Miron's findings estimate. Based on the amount of money he thinks it would take to produce and market legal marijuana, combined with an estimate of marijuana consumers, Eatson guesses that legalizing the drug could bring in $45 to $100 billion per year. Easton’s name doesn't appear on the petition.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17...b=facebook
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LoP Guest
lop guest
User ID: 90836
04-18-2012 12:23 AM

 



Post: #2
RE: Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say
An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures

We, the undersigned, call your attention to the attached report by Professor Jeffrey A. Miron, The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. The report shows that marijuana legalization -- replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation -- would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.

The fact that marijuana prohibition has these budgetary impacts does not by itself mean prohibition is bad policy. Existing evidence, however, suggests prohibition has minimal benefits and may itself cause substantial harm.

We therefore urge the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition. We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods. At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition.

http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/endorsers.html
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Free Range Humans
Registered User
User ID: 90627
04-18-2012 12:23 AM

Posts: 4,621



Post: #3
RE: Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say
It would cost corporate prisons an equal amount and Berkshire Hathaway and the Koch brothers would go batshit.

ALEC will never let this happen..
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