Author Topic: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!  (Read 176 times)

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Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« on: February 20, 2009, 02:55:50 AM »
http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/02/11/audacity-dope?gt1=38001


The Audacity of Dope
Could legal marijuana save California’s economy?
By Jeff Segal Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:36am

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has made marijuana a popular topic. He was photographed smoking from a bong, lost corporate sponsorships, and was suspended from the sport as a result. But celebrities aren't the only ones thinking about dope.

Some legislators in California have pot on their minds, too. That's because the government of the biggest economy in the United States is facing a massive budget deficit whose pain would be alleviated by decriminalizing marijuana.

California's current deficit stands at a whopping $15 billion and is expected to reach $42 billion next year. And the state run by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has virtually run out of cash. It recently delayed $3.5 billion of payments to taxpayers and counties.

While nearly all U.S. states currently face budget shortfalls, California's deficit is more than one-third of its general fund. That's largely due to its dependence on income taxes, which slide during a recession. And the state can't easily borrow due to the government bond-market freeze. Moody's even warned it may downgrade the state's rating.

There's no easy fix to the problem, as any solution likely requires cutting benefits and social services—tough political choices for Schwarzenegger. But the state does have an abundant natural resource it may be able to draw on for help.

Marijuana is California's largest cash crop. It's valued at $14 billion annually, or nearly twice the value of the state's grape and vegetable crops combined, according to government statistics. Indeed, a recent report pegged marijuana as two-thirds of the economy of Mendocino County, a ganja hotbed north of San Francisco. That's not surprising—it costs $400 to grow a pound of pot that can sell for $6,000 on the street.

But the state doesn't receive any revenue from its cash cow. Instead, it spends billions of dollars enforcing laws pegged at shutting down the industry and inhibiting marijuana's adherents. Of course, there's a reason for that. Marijuana's social costs may include addiction and rehabilitation treatment and lost productivity. Yet these are minute compared with the extensive social costs of alcohol or tobacco.

Of course, just legalizing pot wouldn't automatically harvest revenues for the state. An organized system of regulating sales and collecting taxes would need implementing. And it's possible that general drug use could rise, though the debate that pot is a gateway drug to harder substances is inconclusive.

There's also the question of whether or not taxing marijuana would simply create a black market that would again skimp the state on taxes. The best corollaries here are cigarettes and alcohol. Rises in "sin taxes" on them have decreased consumption—a positive—but don't seem to have destabilized the legal market. Decriminalization could lead to some job losses in law enforcement, though the countervailing argument would see these forces put to work stopping harder crime.

So what are the numbers? A national legalization effort would save nearly $13 billion annually in enforcement costs and bring in $7 billion in yearly tax revenues, according to a study by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron. Since California represents 13 percent of the U.S. economy, those numbers suggest the state could save $1.7 billion in enforcement costs and nab up to $1 billion in revenues. That doesn't include any indirect revenues as, for example, rural farming communities grow or marijuana tourism, which has been lucrative for the Netherlands, takes off.

Put it all together, and California could potentially wipe some $3 billion off its budget deficit by letting its people puff and pay. That still leaves it with a gaping $39 billion hole to fill, so the state's problems go far beyond what a new cash crop can fix. But anything to help soothe the state's chronic fiscal pain—even if unpalatable to some—is worth considering.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 10:59:01 PM »
yes it can


i dont know why its not legal, it practically is with the medical shops...they give those licenses to anyone
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 11:04:37 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 11:21:08 PM »
can't wait to get my medical license when i turn 18 8) 8) 8)
Misty Blues, here i come!
ahaha 8)
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 11:25:48 PM »
How good is the medical shit?
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 11:37:57 PM »
haha




can't wait to get my medical license when i turn 18 8) 8) 8)
Misty Blues, here i come!
ahaha 8)
damn u still havent logged off...ur hurting everyone with all this wack shit u drop, it hurts more then getting the swine flu
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 11:42:16 PM »
How good is the medical shit?

homie, medical marijuana is some BOMB shit. 8)
i was gone off some medical Chronic last week wit the homies. 8)
after that, we rolled some Lime Kush.
i was fucked up...now all i got is some bullshit stress. :'(

but yea, try & get a hold of that medical shit. 8)
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 02:36:24 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 05:12:49 PM »
The government will be the biggest weed dealers in the state. I will say this, I think that legalized weed will then lead to less use of other drugs.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 05:29:40 PM »
lol if cali is the biggest economy in the US and it has a net worth of -15 billion...jesus christ we in bad fuckin shape as a country...
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 05:58:17 PM »
Go ahead & legalize it.  I don't wanna be around people that smoke but i'd rather smell marijuana than tobacco anytime.  They gotta try something.  Raise smokes & booze up more, I don't care ;D.  I doubt the law enforcement will lose jobs.  Cause there are more dangerous drugs out there that needs 2 be taken off the streets like cocaine, heroin, methamphetmamines. 
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2009, 06:12:17 PM »
the problem with legalising weed at a state level is that its still banned at a federal level. thats why all they california cannabis clubs get raided by the feds. Even though they might be following California state law to the letter, its still a federal crime and federal law trumps state law.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2009, 06:36:25 PM »

Think about it another way, the war on drugs is not meant to be won, or to put it another way, it's meant to be won against the cartels but it's not designed to stop drugs from coming in. I am sure everyone by now has learnt about the CIA plane which crashed in mexico and onboard there were 3.5 tonnes of cocaine lol. It is designed to create the prison system, the control system, real crime could be pusued and at a fraction of the current spend. I confess I don't know what the current expenditure on the drug war is in america but no doubt it's an insane amount. So I support that, legalise marijuana it has many benefits for those in ill health and could potentially be damaging for some to, there is no doubt but how many people die of alcohol related problems? i.e. liver failure, everything can be abused. The war on drugs is bullshit, everyone knows it, it only creates more violence, it only creates a bigger prison population, only creates more poverty and only succeeds in increasing the profitability of drug trafficking.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 10:29:04 PM »
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2009, 10:47:05 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem
legalize those shit then. Fuck rehab...let me buy buy buy! Obama: "Yes we can!"
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2009, 11:02:15 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem
legalize those shit then. Fuck rehab...let me buy buy buy! Obama: "Yes we can!"

I think more people will just smoke weed 'cause it's easier than getting illegal drugs. Then again, pot heads are usually lazy slackers... lol.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2009, 11:17:58 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem

Naw, I don't think so. Weed is not addictive like those substances.
 

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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2009, 03:36:23 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem

Naw, I don't think so. Weed is not addictive like those substances.


? whats are you talking about, when weed is legalized theres gonna be alot more selling of cocaine and other hard drugs since u probaly wont be making too much money selling weed any more.
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Re: Could Legal Marijuana Save California's Economy?!
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2009, 03:51:15 PM »
Any money that could be made would just be used to increase government spending. For every dollar increase California makes in revenue, they spend $1.20.

But I defiantly think weed should be legal. It's no worse the alcohol, will boost the economy, and keep money out of crime.

yea itll be good legalized, but with weed legalized theres gonna be a far more bigger cocaine, x, shit, etc, problem
Maybe, but it will also take some power money away from drug dealers since they lose a huge cash source. You can't sell heavier drugs like X or coke to the same people that buy weed. It would also lead to law enforcement agencies to concrete on areas that actually matter.