Economic Effects Of Legalizing Marijuana
Medically, it is legal in thirteen states. Internationally, marijuana is legal in Canada, Spain, Mexico, Germany, and thirteen other countries. After the 2016 elections, marijuana will be legal in other states such as Florida, Nevada, and California. Marijuana can have both positive and negative effects on the economy. Legalizing marijuana would increase government revenues. Jeff Miron, a Harvard economist, and 300 other economist estimate that “the government could save 7.7 billion dollars annually by not having to enforce the current economic prohibition” (Pot Legalization 2012). These economists also estimated that legalizing marijuana could save an additional $6 billion a year if the government used taxing rates on marijuana that are similar to alcohol and tobacco.
Taxes that are applied to the substance can help fund projects such as road repairs and new parks. Some states have used the money to provide new textbooks and technology for schools and started after school tutoring …show more content…
With marijuana being legal, people will not be arrested and incarcerated for selling and using the substance. This means that spaces in jails will not be taken up; leaving room for more serious criminals. Another benefit of legalizing marijuana is that police offers can spend more of their time looking for more violent criminals. Instead of police using their time taking drug dealers to jail, they can spend their time looking for other criminals who have committed more violent crimes. In three states alone, crime rates have decreased by at least 10%. In Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, the overall crime rate decreased by 10.1%. In 2015, 18,005 jobs were created, $70 million were collected in tax revenues, and there were over $1 billion in sales. Not only did tax revenues and sales increase, but tourism also rose by 31%. In Washington, the second state to legalize, overall crime decreased by 10.0%, there were $250 million collected in sales, and $70 million in tax revenues. Washington is also expected to see $1 billion in tax revenues over the next four years. Oregon recently legalized marijuana in 2015 and they have already collected $60 million in sales and $15 million in in tax revenues (Crombie 2016). By legalizing marijuana, all states can