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Benefits of legalizing Marijuana - Tax and Cost Savings

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  • Benefits of legalizing Marijuana - Tax and Cost Savings

    Anyone who has ever read Milton Friedman's Free To Choose (a book everyone interested in Economics should read at some point in their life) knows that Friedman is a staunch supporter of the legalization of marijuana. Friedman isn't alone in that regard, as he joined over 500 economists in signing An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures on the benefits of legalizing marijuana. Friedman isn't the only well known economist to sign the letter, it was also signed by Nobel Laureate George Akerlof and other notable economists including Daron Acemoglu of MIT, Howard Margolis of the University of Chicago, and Walter Williams of George Mason University.

    The letter reads as follows:

    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.

    I highly recommend anyone interested in the topic to read Miron's report on marijuana legalization, or at the very least see the executive summary. Given the high number of people who are incarcerated each year for marijuana offenses and the high cost of housing prisoners, the $7.7 billion in expected savings seems like a reasonable figure.

    By implementing such a recommendation, we are seeing approximately $14 billion of revenue ($7.7 savings from prosecution plus $6.2 tax revenue of sales).

    Link to Miron's report

    http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/mironreport.html
    If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans

    Democrats - Brave enough to KILL our unborn, just NOT our ENEMIES!

  • #2
    Anyone who has ever read Milton Friedman's Free To Choose (a book everyone interested in Economics should read at some point in their life) knows that Friedman is a staunch supporter of the legalization of marijuana. Friedman isn't alone in that regard, as he joined over 500 economists in signing An Open Letter to the President, Congress, Governors, and State Legislatures on the benefits of legalizing marijuana. Friedman isn't the only well known economist to sign the letter, it was also signed by Nobel Laureate George Akerlof and other notable economists including Daron Acemoglu of MIT, Howard Margolis of the University of Chicago, and Walter Williams of George Mason University.

    The letter reads as follows:

    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.

    I highly recommend anyone interested in the topic to read Miron's report on marijuana legalization, or at the very least see the executive summary. Given the high number of people who are incarcerated each year for marijuana offenses and the high cost of housing prisoners, the $7.7 billion in expected savings seems like a reasonable figure.

    By implementing such a recommendation, we are seeing approximately $14 billion of revenue ($7.7 savings from prosecution plus $6.2 tax revenue of sales).

    Link to Miron's report

    http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/mironreport.html
    If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans

    Democrats - Brave enough to KILL our unborn, just NOT our ENEMIES!

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry, but I will have to pass on backing this one. I've seen too many people's lives destroyed by drugs. I know the reply will be marijuana isn't that bad, etc. and so on, but it does lead to use of stronger drugs which kill people.

      Comment


      • #4
        There's always the "harder stuff" and that's how they get in trouble. But I do agree with legalizing it for medical purposes ONLY at a federal level.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't oppose its use for medicinal purposes, but it would need to be regulated. You know how easy it is to get drugs these days? You can purchase pain medication over the internet. I'm not sure how legal that is, but is very scary to me. Add marijuana to the mix of all this? Ugh.

          Comment


          • #6
            Whether we legalize it or not, the underground economy will always produce the product as long as there is a demand for it. So why not legalize it that way we have control on the flow of the product and get some revenue, decrease the incarceration costs?

            There can be some sort of rationing where state ID will be required to track and restrict to ensure people don't go overboard. In the end, it all falls within personal responsibility. People have died over doing alcohol.
            If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans

            Democrats - Brave enough to KILL our unborn, just NOT our ENEMIES!

            Comment


            • #7
              <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by davdah:
              The medical benefits are limited to those situations where there is a general eating disorder. Use of which causes the 'munchies'. Aside that not much benefit. The best course of action is to destroy the supply in its entirety and treat this the same as if it were a terrorist insurgence. The number of people killed and otherwise harmed far exceeds 9-11, iraq, vietnam, korea etc... combined. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

              I can't remember which diseases marijuana is helpful for, but there are a few. If I could, I would go on a mission to rid the world of illegal drugs. They totally destroy people.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, Proud, where's the "take responsibility for what you do" line now? If you do illegal drugs you go to prison, same if you try to purchase a controlled substance without a prescription.

                You can die of an alcohol overdose as your liver shuts down, smoking causes cancer, if you eat too much you can end up as a type II diabetic, and all because of activities that are perfectly legal.

                So, scheduling the marihuana is not a bad idea and its medical uses are recognized by many in the field of medicine, regardless of what Davdah says.

                But you don't need to wait for the marihuana to be sold online, it's probably happening as we speak both online and hand to hand in the streets, the problem is that people with a legitimate need to use the product as directed by a doctor cannot do it because of reasons that are, well, questionable at best.

                So, laziness and lack of a serious effort to regulate a product is an excuse not to act and produce, as collateral result, a huge illegitimate market for an "introductory" drug that channels users towards cocaine, LSD, heroine and meth?

                It's best to let a cancer pantient deal with drug dealers than with a doctor, it's best to just ignore everything just cause it's gonna be hard. Takes time away from planning wars, yeah, I understand that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have issues about legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. I do understand there is a medical benefit, ubt I also the medical benefits and their consequences have not been studied enough.

                  This was the case with penicillin and morphine. In each case, there was an epidemic abusing the use of thes pain medicine. Then we have laudenum, which is another powerful, addictive pain suppression medicine. The same abuses will still occur whether marijuana is legalized or not. The next question is how to enforce the midical use while still discouraging the non-medical use.

                  This would lead to how insurance would classify medical use. In the early years, I believe insurance companies would try not to pay or endorse it much the same way that most insurance companies do not pay for abortions, unless for pure medical reasons. Then how will you tax it. Would you create sin taxes to charge? Or would you create new fees for its usage?

                  And finally, how do you get the general population from the belief and persona that marijuana is strictly used for recreational purposes and view marijuana strictly as a medical alternative to pain management? In other words, how to you prevent doctors from being drug pushers instead of practicing the Hippocratic Oath instead of abusing it for personal gain?

                  there are a lot of issues to think about before we start going and allowing marijuana to become legal for medical purposes only. Any compromise, like allowing to grow marijuana at home, will be a very bad idea that will have little enforcement and all because we want to feel good instead of properly taking care of our bodies in the first place.
                  "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hudson, all your issues are already being considered when you regulate pills such as Oxycontin.

                    Oxycontin is highly addictive, extremely so, but it is available to treat certain conditions. The problem with the Marihuana for medical use is that it's not available at all, regardless of the express will of many states.

                    Now, whatever difficulty you have with pills you will have with Marihuana, but there will be at least some relief to the thousands of cancer patients who could immediately benefit from the legal use of the drug.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BTW, the untreated pain caused by cancer is something that nobody should experience, and I have no words to describe the "quality" of such pain.

                      Now, the approach seems to be we won't help you with insurance, we won't help you with pain medication, we won't even help you chose the way you want to go. Just sit there and suffer, suffer until I say so, because I have the power to make you do what I want.

                      How in God's name is that humane???

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You know, if it is the ONLY drug that works to combat the sickness associated with chemotherapy, then by all means legalize it for that (and other practical uses); just make sure it is federally regulated and doesn't become a widespread crutch for those wishing to to live a delusional life. Take it from someone who's been too close to this subject, marijuana use does indeed lead to stronger drugs. A kid at our local high school died of a heroin overdose last week (and I think there have been two other drug-related deaths this school year alone). Very, very sad!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Houston:
                          Hudson, all your issues are already being considered when you regulate pills such as Oxycontin.

                          Oxycontin is highly addictive, extremely so, but it is available to treat certain conditions. The problem with the Marihuana for medical use is that it's not available at all, regardless of the express will of many states.

                          Now, whatever difficulty you have with pills you will have with Marijuana, but there will be at least some relief to the thousands of cancer patients who could immediately benefit from the legal use of the drug. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                          If we took the regular approach for allowing medical use with marijuana, you looking at 5-15 years of study. If you want the fast track, you are looking at less than 5 years. The reason why I want the studies first before we decide on its use is to go through the proper FDA approval list is because the medical field really does not know what long term side effects that can occur in moderated use. We do know all to well if one takes too much for short or prolong periods of time. M.A.P.S. is at least attemptin to answer these questions.

                          I would also like to have it as a category II prescription which means use only in hospitals or other prescribe medical facilities administered by qualified staff. You will not get that NOW under the current social climax. Just look at California as a prime example.

                          Yes, cancer patients do experience unbelievable amounts of pain in advance or acute stages. But I do believe in prevention. However, again, I must reiterate, we do not want to give prescription medicines approved by the FDA unless the medical field has some scientific idea. And yes, there has been no study here in the U.s. and using other nation's resources is not a good idea either. Different population demographics, health, and environment. But hey, we can also market peyote.

                          If we approve the marijuana to satisfy some urgent need, it will have disasterous results in the near future Houston. I know where you are coming from, believe me. If you truly want to know, then PM me.
                          "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Houston:
                            BTW, the untreated pain caused by cancer is something that nobody should experience, and I have no words to describe the "quality" of such pain.

                            Now, the approach seems to be we won't help you with insurance, we won't help you with pain medication, we won't even help you chose the way you want to go. Just sit there and suffer, suffer until I say so, because I have the power to make you do what I want.

                            How in God's name is that humane??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
                            Houston,
                            With insurance companies, it would depend. LASIK surgery is generally not covered under vision insurance becasue it is an elective cosmetic surgery&gt; Yes, it helps you get rid of contacts or glasses, improves your visiaon, but does not meet the definition as a medically determined procedure. Look at insulin. For years, it was not paid for by insurance. Neither are needles or alcohol swabs. However, if a diabetic fails to take insulin, that individual dies. But until the IRS made a ruling that insulin was a qualified medical expense, the insurance companies never allowed it as a qualified expense until that time.

                            Again, it is noble to want a drug to help with cancer, but not at the expense of harming future patients with inadequate knowledge. The studies come first.
                            "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams on Defense of the boston Massacre

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would agree with the study you proposed, I would like to find a way to channel the goods of the drug with strong restrictions.

                              I do not agree with "growers for personal use", nobody should even think about making Oxy for "personal use", however, I do agree that hospitals should have the capability of administering the medication as directed by a physician without fears of being arrested on federal charges.

                              But I never said it should be done right away or precipitously, I agree with a fast track study, that would get things moving in the right direction.

                              ...and BTW, I wasn't talking about IRS who obviously made the right choice. I was talking about Congress; it's disdain for the well being of the people they represent, and I just can't understand that.

                              What's the solution? Little interest in research, so let's pump the guy full of IVIG and forget it. That's not how it should work.

                              Small cell cancer being detected by side effects, glyblastomas and other astrocytomas still cannot be removed without acceptable risk in many cases, and the list goes on. Where's the public funding for research? Instead, it's a debate that leads to nowhere.

                              Research, studies, not disdain and apathy towards the well being of the people.

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