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Thread: Benefits of legalizing Marijuana - Tax and Cost Savings

  1. #1
    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. #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!

  3. #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.

  4. #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.

  5. #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.

  6. #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!

  7. #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.

  8. #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.

  9. #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

  10. #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.

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