Over 300 Economists Agree, The Time For Legalization Is Now
Joe | Apr 26, 2012 | Comments 0
An open letter has been sent to The President, U.S. Congress, state governors and legislators calling for an end to marijuana prohibition and laying out the obvious reasons why. What makes this letter stand out from others is the fact that it is signed by over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates.
We all know that legalization of marijuana would not only save billions in law enforcement resources, but also has the potential to bring in much needed tax revenues for the federal government and for states. But some actual numbers are put forth in the open letter seen below:
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.
Say what you want about economists, but few will accuse this group of being a bunch of potheads who want legal weed. In fact, these people don’t have anything to gain by an end to prohibition; they are just pointing out some economic facts.
Legalization is inevitable. Prohibition doesn’t work, enriches violent criminals and costs money and resources to enforce all while destroying people’s lives.