Hundreds of economists agree marijuana legalization could save $billions per year

“Marijuana prohibition currently costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year to enforce, and it accomplishes little or nothing beneficial in terms of economic benefits. On the contrary, legalizing marijuana would not only save taxpayers billions of dollars a year in unnecessary costs, but it would also jumpstart the economy to the tune of $100 billion a year or more, say some economists.

“In an open letter written to the President, Congress, State Governors, and State Legislators, more than 550 economists, including several nobel laureates, draw attention to a report authored by Professor Jeffrey A. Miron that highlights the potential economic benefits of marijuana decriminalization. Entitled The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition, the report states that legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana would do wonders to reduce inflated budgets and generate new revenue streams.

“[R]eplacing 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,” say the economists. “If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.”

Ain’t gonna happen.  The well-heeled gangsters on wall street love the drug war.  It keeps the market afloat.

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