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If Marijuana Production Were Legal: Projected Tax Revenues, by State

  1. chillinwill

    Love it or hate it, people smoke marijuana - lots of it. In some states marijuana consumption and posession have been decriminalized, and even legalized for medicinal purposes. But, have you ever wondered how large the economics of Marijuana were? Us too. As a result ,have decided to put together this graphic, which illustrates the popularity of marijuana consumption, the federal tax dollars spent to keep marijuana illegal, and the possible tax revenues that could be generated if marijuana production were legalized and taxed like any other agricultural product. It is especially interesting, with regards to the Great Recession:

    November 13, 2009


  1. chillinwill
    The economics of marijuana legalization and taxation

    There's been a great deal of talk over the last year or so of legalization and taxation of marijuana. In fact certain states have decriminalized possession of the narcotic - including the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There's even a Cannabis Cafe that opened up in Portland, testing a new federal policy not to prosecute medical users (Oregon state law allows for medical marijuana usage) despite use and possession of marijuana still being illegal on the federal level. Health and moral arguments aside, there is a very compelling economic argument to be made to legalize marijuana and thus make it subject to taxation. So-called "sin" taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling are often resorted to in tough economics times - again, the Commonwealth recently introduced a sales tax on alcohol to combat budget problems - so throwing marijuana into the mix could be a big winner. Check out this excellent infographic from sloshspot.com, depicting money spent fighting pot-related crime and potential tax revenues that could be realized:

    Marijuana is almost laughably benign, especially contrasted with widely available legal drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, and prescription drugs. The trend is toward growing decriminalization of the drug. I think weak moral and public health arguments supporting its continued criminalization plus overwhelming economic arguments will over the next couple decades or so see it completely legal, regulated, and taxed - just like alcohol and cigarettes. And I think this would be a big win as public policy.

    What do you think about the probability of marijuana being legalized over the next few years? Do you agree or disagree with it - either as public policy or a matter of principle?

    Mike. R
    November 17, 2009
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