What States have the potential to gain
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) estimates that a legal market for marijuana in California could provide the state with as much as $1.5-2 billion in additional revenue each year. Implementing a $1.00 per joint excise tax would yield about $1 billion to the state, while the state would save over $150 million in law enforcement costs for arrests, prosecutions, and prison. Additional benefits would accrue from sales tax and spinoff industries. Total retail sales of marijuana would be on the scale of $3-5 billion, with total economic impact of $8-13 billion including spinoff industries such as coffeehouses, tourism, and industrial hemp.
Alcohol vs. Marijuana
The most frequently asked question by Americans who advocate the legalization of marijuana is, “why is it legal under the current scope of the law, to consume liquor, beer and cigarettes but illegal to smoke a joint?” Even in an alternate universe ran by Reptilians, the answer to the question is both hypocritical and inaccurate. From Manhattan, Kansas to Cairo, Egypt, medical and safety experts agree that annually, more deaths are caused by the use of tobacco products than any other drug. So…let’s get it straight lawmakers, if a constituent is of legal age to buy a pack of Marlboros, smoke them, and then develop illnesses that kill them from the consumption of this product, well…it’s OK. However, depending on what state that you live in, if you buy an ounce of marijuana, a drug that like tobacco, releases certain cerebral endorphins is bad and you may lose your job, your car, and your home, as well as potentially serve jail or probation time. Something, senators and congressman, is not right in your Land of OZ. The truth of the matter is the powerful global tobacco industry pays tens of millions of dollars annually to lobbyists in Washington, D.C. who ensure that legislators will stay “convinced” to continue to allow cigarettes to remain legally sold off of the shelves of Wal-mart and your local bodega. However understanding our lawmakers’ logic rationale behind empowering drug lords an opportunity to commit a multitude of crimes through the illegal trafficking of marijuana is more than baffling. Could it be that they have an invested interest in keeping things “as they are?”