Posted by | December 20, 2009 09:38 | Filed under: Top Stories

California’s economy could be saved by legalizing marijuana. Opponents say the social cost is too high, and legalizing pot, alone, won’t fill the gap.  But if we stopped allowing government to be the morality police on issues like what we put into our bodies (or who, for that matter), we would go a long way toward solving economic problems.


Voters are likely to confront the issue next year. Marijuana advocates say they have collected more than enough signatures, over 680,000, to qualify for November’s ballot with a proposal to make California the first U.S. state to legalize possession and cultivation of pot for recreational use.

 

[…]

 

A Field Poll in April found 56 percent of California voters favor legalizing recreational marijuana and taxing it as a new revenue source to ease the budget crunch.

 

The state tax board found that California could collect $1.4 billion a year in taxes from a legalization bill proposed by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat.

 

He backs the referendum as a prelude to his own statewide bill, saying that outlawing pot has proven a failure.

 

“Prohibition is chaos, and at least with regulation you have some control,” Ammiano said.

 

While monies derived from legalization wouldn’t fill the budget gap, there are other benefits to legalization and other costs that can be reduced.


…ending prosecutions of marijuana possession would free up strained law enforcement resources and strike a blow against drug cartels, much as repealing prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s crushed bootlegging by organized crime.

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Copyright 2009 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.