June 20, 2011 The fiscal case for legalising marijuana | Samantha McCann
A change in US marijuana policy would mean significant savings. Full legalisation would bring in an estimated $2.4bn annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods, and $6.2bn annually if it were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco. In fact, legalisation of marijuana – the cessation of prosecutions and tax revenue – could put more than $13bn into government coffers. That would equal the entire budget of the department of labour. Maybe with a budget twice as large, it could focus on creating jobs and getting Americans back to work.
Why should sick patients like Dolin continue to suffer without the medical treatment they need? At a time when tens of millions of people can’t find work, and while pay and healthcare benefits are being cut, why should our sick economy be deprived of so much needed revenue? On this 40th anniversary of the failed drug war, we must, instead, envision a drug policy that is patient-centred and fiscally responsible – a policy that puts Americans first.