Could legalising marijuana help save the US economy?

JMCC 2012/12/06 12:08:07
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Four decades ago, President Richard Nixon officially launched America's "war on drugs". Generations of US politicians since have continued to crack down on illegal substances, including marijuana.

Now that two states have voted to decriminalise marijuana, it may be that they have tapped in to one of the "fastest growing" economies going...

In his new book, Too High To Fail, author Doug Fine argues that the campaign against cannabis has been expensive and counterproductive.

Critics of the law have questioned both the effectiveness and the morality of it, but Mr Fine - a strong advocate for legalisation - makes an economic case against it.

The illegal marijuana market is estimated to be worth tens of billions of dollars each year. Mr Fine argues that is money that should be taxed and contributing to the legal economy rather than benefiting criminals.

He travels to Mendocino County, California to see how an effort to legalise the drug at the local level boosted the economy and infuriated the federal authorities.


Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19336816

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  • Kirby 2012/12/06 13:29:01
    I don't think that it will cure the financial mess that we are in , but it would give us more income. Which along with NOT spending the ludacris amount of money we spend now on the failure that is the war on drugs! Problem is someone has to get the lobbist from Big Pharma,Prison, DEA, and Police Unions to stop influencing our mental midget politicians!

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  • ronlevy 2013/01/10 22:54:08
    It's hard to know if legalizing marijuana would really help the economy. Now it's being sold in the underground (free market) economy. The money from its sales goes entirely to its growers and vendors, who spend it with nothing going directly to the government. If legalized, the taxation on it will be enormous just like on liquor and cigarettes, with the government the primary beneficiary. The government will then do with the new influx of tax just as it always does: enrich those employed in it, buy more military hardware and security apparatus to protect itself, and waste what's left on worthless or harmful programs. The only fair thing that would likely improve the economy would be to legalize marijuana with no taxes on its sale, but there is no way the government would ever allow that.
  • GoDucks5 2012/12/22 04:26:12
    It wouldn't save it but it would help because of taxes.
  • CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY 2012/12/22 04:23:14
    And while we're at, let's legalize all the other substances that can get a person high to the extent that they will kill, repeatedly, and not even realize it.

    Black tar heroin is my favorite. Has been known to kill users in an instant. Then there's crack and crank .............. and oh so many others.

    Time to lift the limits on the age of use too. 7 or 8 year olds hopped up on cocaine courtesy of they're progressive parents would bring the economy quickly out of the doldrums.
  • JMCC CUDDLY ... 2012/12/22 11:32:01
  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/12/21 00:59:06
    I would love to see marijuana taxed and regulated.
  • burningsnowman 2012/12/20 19:19:16
    I would *support* it but nothing short of a miracle could turn things around.
  • Cuthbert Allsgood 2012/12/20 18:52:42
    Cuthbert Allsgood
    It won't cure the problem, but taxing it will only bring more revenue. Although I would rather see this go to the state level rather than the federal.

    Also it would decrease if not get rid of the black market for it, decreasing violence and keeping the money for it out of criminals hands.

    People will buy marijuana whether it is legal or not - why not tax it?
  • Red 2012/12/20 18:51:53
  • TuringsChild 2012/12/20 17:55:36
    NOTHING can do that now.
  • Little Angel 2012/12/20 17:46:54
    Little Angel
    It really help in several areas of improving the economy.

  • thefatguy 2012/12/11 01:58:47
    Legalizing drugs by itself will not "save the US economy", but it wouldn't hurt and would most likely help.
  • Jane 2012/12/08 14:12:25
    A little - can't hurt
  • 001 2012/12/07 17:00:17
    Nothing can save the economy. But legalising marijuana might postpone the downfall.
  • JMCC 001 2012/12/07 17:14:45
    Hell - legalise marijuana and nobody will care if it fails...

    Make it mandatory for politicians and see all our problems dissolve in a haze of smoke! XD
  • SK-pro impeachment 2012/12/07 16:21:42
    SK-pro impeachment
    Ppl who say yes are bewitched by the very product they are pushing. (pun intended.)
  • Golden Panther 2012/12/07 16:18:23
    Golden Panther
    Not a chance. The only thing that will save the American economy is for the cretin so-called president to resign along with Obiden and the rest of the Jack-boot cabinet, Tzars, and the commies in the House and Senate...Supreme Court also needs to be restructured to get rid anti Americans in that cesspool. Next step, make everyone who voted for obumavich once take a urine test. For those who voted for him twice should be neutered and never allowed to submit a ballot in the future. If these steps fail, start a Civil war.
  • sjalan 2012/12/07 07:16:22 (edited)
    The "war on drugs" has been a total failure in the US. Three very positive things would happen if we approached this whole thing correctly.

    1. Make drugs legal, prescribed - regulated, and taxed.

    2. Especially marijuana, regulate it. Sell it, Tax it.

    3. LEGALIZE industrial HEMP!! as well. IF we aren't to late, we can make this the single largest crop value wise in the US. The uses of Industrial HEMP are nearly endless. Regulate it Sell it Tax It.

    4. and it will relieve tremendous pressure on local, state and federal prisons reducing costs there as well.

    OVER ALL it will lower crime, increase tax revenue and CREATE JOBS!!! IN THE USA
  • Jane sjalan 2012/12/08 14:13:24
  • Donald Eric Kesler 2012/12/07 06:47:43
    Donald Eric Kesler
    It certainly would eliminate the cost of waging an ineffective war on marijuana.
  • stevmackey 2012/12/07 05:45:26
    No. Can a screwed up, stoned society, be the answer to happiness? Give me a break. Use your common sense. Would you like to be on the road with more stoned drivers than you see now?
  • JMCC stevmackey 2012/12/07 15:54:46
    "Can a screwed up, stoned society, be the answer to happiness?" - can't be any worse then it is already can it? Because whatever we are doing is obviously not working...
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/20 18:55:40
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/20 19:02:12
    I suspect that not many people in the world realise that the "War on drugs" was only ever a trade war and that the people who made the decisions to criminalise their use was a political one and not one of health.
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/20 19:08:07
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/20 19:15:23
    Pharmaceutical and alcohol lobbies are the two of strongest - combined... a pain in everybodies arse.
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/20 19:38:59
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/20 19:42:57
    Indeed. The top priority in government tends to be over nation borders.

    Opium and hash from the ghan's, coco from the first peoples of S America. It is quite despicable really,
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/20 20:02:18
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/20 20:15:54
    I am not sure that I agree with that assessment.

    The biggest problem with the NWO is that it doesn't exist as such. What we are looking at is a few families who have been able to agree on most things - but NEVER all.
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/20 21:16:33
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/20 22:04:14
    OK - I can see where we are.

    Had I fallen to parental pressure, I would have been 5th gen.
  • Red JMCC 2012/12/21 01:14:46
  • JMCC Red 2012/12/21 12:36:09
  • SK-pro ... stevmackey 2012/12/07 16:23:46
    SK-pro impeachment
    More unfunctioning, lazy ppl; more ppl on the dole
  • Cuthber... stevmackey 2012/12/20 18:56:52
    Cuthbert Allsgood
    Alcohol is much, much worse than marijuana. Both for addiction and operating a motor vehicle.

    No one should ever drive under the influence of *any* drugs (including many prescription drugs like vicoden and anti-anxiety drugs).

    I would rather be in a room with a stoner than a drunk any day of the week.
  • Shokk Me Please 2012/12/07 05:24:51
    Shokk Me Please
    There is no legitimate reason for a plant to be made illegal. It is all a show, with a lot of money being made. In nearly every divisive issue if you open your eyes and tune out the endless noise and diet of distractions we are fed every single day you will see most policies and traditions are made to serve the well being of a very few.
  • S and S 2012/12/07 03:24:39
  • ross 2012/12/07 03:11:05
    February 1938: Popular Mechanics Magazine "NEW BILLION DOLLAR CROP" February 1938: Mechanical Engineering Magazine: "THE MOST PROFITABLE & DESIREABLE CROP THAT CAN BE GROWN" It is conservatively estimated that once decriminalized and a hemp industries restored, will generate a trillion dollars per year. That was 20 years ago.
  • Swampdog PWCM 2012/12/07 02:46:36
    Swampdog PWCM
    Even if the tax was as much as 50% there aren't that many stoners that could 'save' this economy.
  • Gone Away 2012/12/07 01:04:59
    Gone Away
    "could"? "help"?
    I'm not psychic, but seems reasonable! And there is precedence in the...
    Repeal of Prohibition

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