Can legalizing pot ease our national debt?

potLibertarians have long supported the legalization of marijuana and putting an end to the expensive War on Drugs program on constitutional grounds, arguing the federal government has no business regulating drug use.  But, the legalization of marijuana has an attractive side benefit as well – it would flood government coffers with billions in additional revenue.

According to a Cato Institute study, legalizing marijuana will result in an additional $8.7 billion in yearly federal and state tax revenue.  In a time of excessive national debt and threats of a credit default, the prudent and expeditious dismantling of drug prohibitions is a wise choice.

Not only will government revenue increase, spending will decrease.  The study found that eliminating drug control will reduce government expenditures by more than $40 billion every year.

Several states have already legalized marijuana, including Washington and Colorado.  Nearly twenty other states have medical marijuana allowances as part of their laws and several additional states are looking to follow suit – for good reason.

The Libertarian party is correct that the federal government has no business regulating drugs.  The trillion dollar failure stands as a prime example of what happens when government involves itself in matters of the people.  Prohibition failed before, and it is failing again.  Further, it costs the American taxpayer dearly to maintain the failure.  What does the United States have to show for our expensive War on Drugs?  Larger prisons.  Huge drug cartels.  Complex underground drug transportation networks that get innocent people killed every day.

The War on Drugs denies the most basic human right of all people to control their own bodies in ways they see fit.  Did you know that over 100,000 die every year from drugs?  But, there is a catch!  These are not illegal drugs.  These are prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  More than 100,000 deaths yearly from FDA-approved drugs.

How many do you think die from marijuana?  You might be surprised to find out that deaths are extremely rare from marijuana consumption.

The fact of the matter is hemp is actually quite useful as a natural, environmentally-friendly resource.  Hemp can be made into a variety of products that Americans use every day, like paper and plastic, and even clothing.  It is also an incredibly effective medicine and far cheaper for most Americans than swallowing a bunch of expensive pharmaceutical drugs – drugs that might kill them.

Drug legalization lowers costs of drugs, easing related drug crimes and reducing the effectiveness of large and deadly drug cartels.  Drug sales are taxed and therefore a legitimate business, raising enormous amounts of revenue for our cash-strapped government.  Our prison population will ease, leaving more room for true criminals – those who cheat, steal and murder.  Local police departments will free up to investigate more important crimes that directly involve our safety…not to mention respond to accidents and 911 calls more quickly.

Stop our harebrained and foolhardy adherence to a failed system of prohibition.  It saves Americans money.  It restores the Constitution.  It implements sanity.



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