Thursday, July 16, 2009

Legalizing pot would be a $1.4B a year business, in California alone

A bill to tax and regulate marijuana in California, like alcohol, would generate nearly $1.4 billion in revenue for the broke state, according to an official analysis released Wednesday by tax officials. A study done by The State Board of Equalization reports that California would rake in $990 million from a $50 per ounce fee, plus another $392 million in sales taxes.

OK, wait a minute. Did I read that correctly? $1.4 billion in revenue just for legalizing marijuana? Seems to me this is sort of a no-brainer. Let's break it down. People are going to smoke marijuana, regardless of it being illegal. If you legalize it, like alcohol, keep it for 21 plus year olds. It would still be against the law for people under 21. For those 21 and older, you would be allowed to grow, sell and use the marijuana anyway you see fit. I have heard the argument before that "people would abuse it if it were legal". Horsecrap. People that would abuse it because of it being legal would abuse it regardless. You would still be considered driving under the influence if caught behind the wheel. At the end of the day, it would be no different than alcohol. Again, people that are going to smoke pot are going to do it either way, why not use it to generate revenue for the state. It would certainly help narrow the gap in the budget deficits that seem to be a common thing recently.

What are your thoughts? Should this sort of thing happen in California? What about other states, or even Maine? Give me your thoughts...