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The Weednesday Post: Guess How Much Marijuana Prohibition Costs Missouri
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A lot. Marijuana prohibition costs enough to put more than 900 new police officers on the streets.

Here’s the numbers from Harvard and Cato scholar Jeffrey A. Miron and marijuana law reform researcher Abhi Sivasailam (via Show-Me Cannabis):

Missouri would save about $90 million in government expenditure and yield roughly $59 million in tax revenue annually. This assumes that marijuana would be taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco and that all other states and the federal government would also legalize.

What could we do with an extra $149 million in the budget?

We could increase funding for mental health, help the disabled, open medical clinics for the poor, or treat marijuana dependency.

We could also cut taxes and pay for Jay Nixon’s private plane.

Nationally, we spend $100 billion a year on the drug war. That’s $11 billion more than sequestration.

What marijuana reform could also do is make a lot of under-utilized people far more productive. You know how hard it is to get a good job with a misdemeanor criminal record for marijuana possession?

Within my dad’s lifetime, we locked people up for possession of beer. Prohibition was an attempt by progressives to perfect human beings, to end social problems, and to control behavior.

It failed miserably, leaving behind corruption in government from Washington DC to Washington state. Prohibition threw people out of work, damaged reputations and lives, and fostered an organized crime network we spend millions fighting.

The war on weed has been no less damaging.

I can’t find a single study that concludes the war on pot saves or money.

So why do we wage it?

I want to hear from you. Do you think marijuana prohibition is worth $149 million?

Now go read my original post on The War on Weed

Then check out The Weednesday Post archives

  • I have been bankrupted due to bogus weed charges. I have been a victim of this war on weed, and I will fight as long as it takes to make sure no one else has their lives destroyed by this ridiculous prohibition.

    • Thank you, Natalie. I am so sorry to hear your story. Peace.

  • Mike

    It’s a total waste of time and tax payers money.

  • mary

    I beleive that the irresponsible mom is the result of generational bad parenting, and ignorant media. just a theory

  • mary

    Agreed, The war on drugs has cost more, than decriminalization ever would, of course there will always be ” nit wits” like the women who filmed giving her 2 y/o a hit from a bong pipe of MJ on her cell phone, but Alcohol is more damaging to people, and its legal. The war on drugs has never been updated, they just keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result every time=insanity. Instead of changing what does not work and sticking with what does. You cant legislate morality, or stupidity, but you dont punish everyone else, The media is partially to blame for the ignorance of this mom, as they have glamorized MJ in movies and music, for years, but i am not for censorship at all, just education and personal responsibilty.

    • wiliamthennessy

      Hollywood also glamorized the life of drug traffickers and cartel bosses. Legalization of marijuana would reduce the violence.

      • mary

        This is very true, from miami vice in the 1980s, to rappers today they are very glamed up, kids mimic them.

  • tj

    Totally agree. Most thinking conservatives, even police officers,agree the time has come to decriminalize marijuana.

    Society has a tendency, in general, to reel from the idea of decriminalizing pot yet arch conservatives such as William F. Buckley strongly supported the idea years ago.

    Here are a few, and I mean just a few, important elements to keep in mind regarding the “War on Drugs,” of which pot is a major battle.

    Decriminalization, note I am not saying legalization, merely allows the personal use and possession of small quantities similar to that allowed for decades in Amsterdam. It has the same restrictions as smoking as well as punishment for “intoxication” in public, especially when driving. No laws prohibit workplace drug testing and employees could still be fired for a positive finding. This is common sense as marijuana use has been shown to contribute to work place accidents and threats to safety due to its intoxicating effects.

    We waste far too much criminal justice time, effort, and money on prohibition.

    • wiliamthennessy

      Good points. You know, about half of all arrests for drugs are for possession of small amounts of marijuana or paraphernalia.

      Btw, thanks for comment on my previous post about the DOR. I needed to clarify the issue, and your challenge helped me see that.

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