There are many reasons why marijuana should be legalized in Arizona. For starters, no one should be arrested and/or convicted for marijuana possession. Law enforcement should be focused on catching real criminals, not busting marijuana users. That moral reason should be enough. But if it’s not, another reason is that legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana in Arizona would generate a lot of revenue for the state. Per the Phoenix New Times:
Arizona could generate an additional $48 million in revenue each year by legalizing and taxing marijuana, an analysis by the State Legislature shows.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee produced a report in September on the estimated impact of legal marijuana, but didn’t release the data publicly. New Times obtained a copy of the report this morning.
Prepared in response to a legalization bill proposed earlier this year by a group of Democrats, the JLBC report shows that Arizona could enjoy a large boost in revenue for schools, health care and other services simply by taxing people who already use marijuana.
Something that the analysis didn’t take into account was the money that would be saved from not enforcing marijuana prohibition, which is a significant amount in itself. Marijuana prohibition in Arizona has failed. It’s time that Arizona took a new approach to marijuana laws, an approach that is built upon sensible logic, not reefer madness fears of decades past. If you live in Arizona, contact your legislator and let them know how you feel.