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Marijuana Legalization May Boost Economy in 2010

By December 28, 2009

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A bright economic spot in 2010 for the U.S. may be the legalization of marijuana, which would generate billions in legal annual U.S. sales, plus related sales and income tax revenues for state and federal governments.

Per the Los Angeles Times today:

"Washington is one of four states where measures to legalize and regulate marijuana have been introduced, and about two dozen other states are considering bills ranging from medical marijuana to decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the herb...

"Legalization bills were introduced in California and Massachusetts earlier this year, and this month, New Hampshire and Washington state prefiled bills in advance of their legislative sessions that begin in January."

Marijuana is one of America's top-selling agricultural products. One California politician estimates that marijuana sales in his state top $14 billion annually, which would generate new tax revenues of more than $1 billion annual just for the Golden State. On November 2, 2010, Californians will vote via state referendum as to whether or not "Californians over age 21 would be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and grow their own plants on a plot up to 5 feet by 5 feet large."

I support full legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco are regulated and taxed. As I describe at Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana, there are dozens of excellent fiscal, law enforcement and social reasons to legalize sale and use of this dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants.

What do you think? You can share your views here at About.com: Readers Respond - Should Marijuana Sale and Possession Be Legalized?

But before you do, learn more about this timely issue at at Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana.

Comments

December 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm
(1) ronan says:

great piece of news.

December 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(2) Christian Olson says:

Oregon will also (more than likely) be voting on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act in 2010 that would bring a legal, regulated market of cannabis to the state of Oregon. Overwhelmingly, empirical evidence supports the fact that cannabis is a far less dangerous substance than alcohol; furthermore, the differences are so extreme between cannabis and our nations favorite intoxicants, it is difficult to even classfy them in the same category. A regulatory market will affect positive change in a number of areas:

1. Keep of Kids Safe: A regulated market would place the controls in the hands of the state and responsible adults. Programs like We Card have been shown to reduce access to teens. Blackmarket dealers do not check ID.

2. Fight the Drug Cartels: Cannabis provides 70% of the south american drug cartels’ annual income. This has resulted in horrific violence that has resulted in almost 20,000 deaths in Mexico since Felipe Calderón took office.

3. Tax Revenue: Famed economist Milton Friedman and 500 hundred other leading economists endorsed a study that asserts that a regulated cannabis market would produce 14 billion dollars a year in tax revenue. This is a conservative figure.

4. Safer Alternative: With deaths because of LEGAL substances at staying at an alarmingly high level, shouldn’t we offer our citizens a safer alternative? Cannabis has been shown to have many health benefits and has never caused anyone to die in the history of human civilization.

5. American: It is an American ideal that we will preserve our civil liberties. We have every right to make choices as to what we will put in our bodies. We must maintain our freedoms.

Its time. Tax and Regulate Cannabis in the United States.

Christian Olson

December 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(3) Todd says:

Forget the economy!! This will change the way millions of people of live their lives for the better. No paranoia,no arrests,no criminal records,no anti-social behavior. Then also we get a far less powerful drug cartel that has been responsible for the deaths of 14,000 Mexicans within just the past few years. Then we will also benefit from all those who would choose to smoke herb rather than get drunk. It is all win win.

December 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm
(4) Kristopher says:

I am 21 a male and hard working. I don’t understand why people don’t figure that it is less intense than alcohol and does not in pare your ability think. I find driving is easier, and that I am more aware what is going on. The many things this could bring us. This should be legal.

January 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm
(5) James Crosby says:

Support the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2010! You can find the site here: http://www.cannabistaxact.org/

Please support Oregon in the legalization of cannabis! We really need to protect our future, and our people; this is the best way to do it.

January 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(6) Carla says:

I do not understand how marijuana has become the liberal agenda. I do not want to catch anyone’s contact smoike! Furthermore, with the majority of buildings and restaurants outlawing cigarette smoke, what is the real economic benefit of legalization. This whole issue is full of smoke and truly disappointing!

January 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm
(7) Brendan says:

Carla are you serious and/or stupid? people are already going to smoke regardless of whether or not its legal and even if you cannot smoke it inside. If you are really that…pardon me for lack of a better term…dumb as to not see how it would stimulate the economy and furthermore get us out of the recession then i encourage you to read the very first comment made by Christian who put it brilliantly. Also take aa look on the internet about yellowstone national park and marijuana its surprising because most do not know about whats going on there. Im sorry but you are a moron.

March 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm
(8) AVIMRANGER says:

The assembly Bill 2254 says nothing about allowing people to smoke it in public once it is legal, It is for adults to use in the privacy of their own homes.

I wish I could find one valid point from anyone that knows Assembly Bil 2254 for not legalizing it.

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