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Marijuana Legalization

  • Date Submitted: 05/14/2010 03:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.1 
  • Words: 809
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Ever since marijuana was made illegal in 1937 marijuana supporters have been calling for the re-legalization of the plant. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it has been known to have been used.
Supporters of marijuana legalization often point out the potential for economic gain should marijuana ever become legal. According to Harvard economics professor Jeffery Miron the United States stands to gain roughly 14 billion dollars if marijuana becomes legal. Based on his calculations the United States would save approximately 7.7 billion dollars by not having to go after and prosecute marijuana offenders. A marijuana dealer is typically sentenced to four years in prison costing taxpayers to pay an estimated $23,000 per year to house one offender.   Then if the government was to tax marijuana at a similar rate to alcohol and cigarettes the government would make about another 6.2 billion dollars. Most of that money would go to the state governments, many of which are currently facing budget deficits and the rest of the money would go to the federal government, which as nearly everybody knows is also currently facing big budget problems. Miron’s estimate is considered fairly conservative by many other economic experts. His study doesn’t take into account the other industries that would benefit from marijuana legalization. Shops that sell marijuana accessories such as pipes, water pipes (aka bongs) and other means of inhalation, would see their business increase and since these businesses have to pay taxes state governments would benefit by collecting these taxes, money that could be used to help struggling states fix their budget deficits. Another industry that would see benefits would be the tourism industry. As exemplified by Amsterdam which has legalized the recreational use of marijuana in its coffee shops. The Amsterdam coffee shops brings in tourist from all around the world. This would mean a boost for many businesses such as hotels,...

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