A new study from the state of Washington has surprised everyone by projecting some $560 million a year in taxes from I-502 and marijuana legalization, a number far above even what supporters had estimated.
This study comes from the state government itself, lest anyone cry foul at its results for partisanship. In an age when every state and city is feeling the budget crunch, this will be a huge selling point for backers of I-502 as the year goes on.
This is money that currently goes to drug dealers and fuels the violence they use to battle rival dealers and gangs. Why should drug dealers get all the money from marijuana sales, including this potential $560 million a year?
Legalization is inevitable for this very reason. Great harm is done to society when violent criminals are rewarded for being criminals, and there are no positive sides to prohibition to offset this cost.