Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?

Michael McHugh Composition II Julie Herskovitz 08/10/2011 Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana? Marijuana Legalization and the Revenue from Marijuana Sales The war on drugs is an expensive battle, as a great deal of resources and time go into catching those who buy or sell illegal drugs on the black market, prosecuting them in court, and housing them in jail. These costs seem particularly exorbitant when dealing with the drug marijuana, as it is widely used, and is likely no more harmful than currently legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol.

There’s another cost to the war on drugs, which is the revenue lost by local, state and federal governments who cannot collect taxes on illegal drugs. As Washington breaks the bank on Wall Street bailouts, President Barack Obama’s stimulus package and other spend-now, pay-later measures, most observers agree that politicians will eventually need to increase revenue or cut spending to cover the federal government’s debts. Washington could begin to balance its books now if politicians would take a serious look at the marijuana industry.

In California the owner of two retail outlets for medical marijuana claims that his business’s generate $1 million in revenue annually, and pays around $80,000 a year in sales taxes to the state of California. But the federal government, which does not acknowledge sales as legitimate commerce, gets nothing from his business. Inside a cannabis dispensary, federal authorities have spent time trying to close this man’s and other medical-marijuana clubs. Washington is losing money with tax’s, just imagine how much the federal government would save if they stopped cracking down on sellers .

One very important and often used comparison with alcohol is that alcohol is taxed very heavy, every time the local, state or federal government need more money they go after alcohol and cigarettes. Marijuana could be taxed the same. It should be the reason to legalize Cannabis, it is good for the economy, It’s been here the whole time, and is nowhere as dangerous to society as alcohol is, in every aspect from drunk driving to health issues, no matter how the politicians want to twist and turn it, the facts speak for themselves.

As more people begin to see the merits, for the legalization, or decriminalization and the medical use of marijuana continua’s to be debated in terms of public health, lawmakers are increasingly looking into the economic benefits of regulating and taxing weed, which the Office of National Drug Control Policy says is the most popular illegal drug in the U. S. Many marijuana advocates say history is on their side. Their arguments are similar to those that led to repealing Prohibition during the Great Depression. In the early 1930s, one of the reasons that alcohol was brought back was because government revenue was plummeting.

There are plenty of studies indicating the vast amount of tax money that can be generated by doing this. The American marijuana trade is at $113 billion annually. Between drug enforcement and potential taxes, the federal government and the states are losing almost $42 billion a year. It’s a very large amount of money that is missing from the taxable economy. a more-conservative number, estimating that federal and state treasuries would gain more than $6 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

At the same time, relaxing laws against use of marijuana would save nearly $8 billion in legal costs. The Obama administration seems to be inching toward a more permissive stance on marijuana. The time is now to get rid of out dated laws concerning marijuana. Works Cited Examining a Recent Study on Legalization From Mike Moffatt, former About. com Guide Examining a Recent Study on Legalization From Mike Moffatt, former About. com Guide By John Dyer, MSN Money International Business Times http://www. naturalnews. com/033193_marijuana_legalization. html#ixzz1TtqSemQR

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