Sunday, January 18, 2009

Counting the Costs of the so-called War on Drugs

Good essay here about the financial costs of the so-called War on Drugs.

As long as marijuana is illegal, we’ll still be directing billions to enforcement, prosecution and incarceration. And we still won’t realize the revenues that regulation and taxation can bring.

We could use those lost billions right now. Estimates of the combined savings from legalizing marijuana, and revenues from taxing it like alcohol or tobacco, range from $13.94 to $41.8 billion per year. That’s enough to pay for all or most of President-elect Obama’s proposed ten-year, $150 billion alternative energy investment. Or it could contribute roughly one-fifth to one-half of the $75 billion per year estimated cost of Obama’s proposal to extend health insurance to all.
Lotta dough.  This drug prohibition is a stimulus program for criminal activity.  And not just in the U.S.  What about the drug war violence in Mexico?

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