Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Friday, April 14, 2006

Legalizing Marijuana?

I am sure many Alabamians, if allowed to vote for her at all, would not vote for Loretta Nall just because she favors legalizing marijuana. In that regard, go read this article (h/t TalkLeft). Here is a sample:

Last year, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimated that the federal government spends about $2.4 billion annually on enforcing anti-marijuana laws, which is on top of about $5.3 billion that local and state governments spend annually. Under prohibition, we also forgo the roughly $6.2 billion in tax revenues that Prof. Miron says would be generated if marijuana were regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco.

Read the article and ask yourself, do the benefits of outlawing marijuana outweigh this amazing cost? Put aside passion, and do the math. It may be that marijuana is a problem, but is it a problem worth spending 14 billion dollars to fix?