Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions
Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition.
Miron predicts that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement, in addition to generating $2.4 billion annually if taxed like most consumer goods, or $6 billion per year if taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The economists signing the petition note that the budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition are just one of many factors to be considered, but declare it essential that these findings become a serious part of the national decriminalization discussion.
Even the economists are recommending legalization. How can the government look at these findings and not see the benefits of decriminalization? The war on drugs has cost us many billions, yet it has done nothing to stop or even curb illegal drug usage in the US. Imagine how much more room there would be in our prison system for real criminals if this were to happen.