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Marijuana Enforcement In Boulder Is Costing Less Than Anticipated

boulder colorado marijuana

(via wikipedia)

Kevin Sabet always wants to talk about the costs associated with marijuana legalization. He has stated many times that for every dollar that legal marijuana generates, there will be 10 dollars in ‘social costs.’ Of course, Mr. Sabet has never provided specifics, and definitely has never provided any proof to back up his claim. If Boulder, Colorado is any indicator of the costs associated with marijuana legalization, even enforcement doesn’t cost as much as previously anticipated. Per Daily Camera:

In a supplemental budget appropriation made in early 2014, the City Council approved $75,000 for outside legal assistance, $100,000 for forensic accounting services, $20,000 for police overtime, $12,000 for overtime for fire inspections, $96,500 for two new licensing clerks, $85,000 for a new position to review building plans and $85,000 for a new position to do building inspections.

Those expected costs were to be paid out of an estimated $2 million in tax revenue from new recreational marijuana businesses.

Projections for marijuana revenue are closer to $1.5 million by year’s end, but in addition to a significant contingency built into the city’s budget, much of the appropriated money has not been spent.

Enforcing marijuana legalization laws is not as hard as opponents make it out to be. The marijuana industry is largely compliant, and more than willing to do what it takes to remain above reproach. That can’t be said about many other industries, who are slow to accept regulations and try to do everything they can to try to skirt the rules.


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Johnny Green


  1. – In 2011 there were 1.5 million drug arrests in the United States of America.
    755,000 of those arrests were related to marijuana; making a marijuana arrest occurrence
    about once every 42 seconds in the U.S.

    – The amount of money the U.S. Government, and state governments would save annually in enforcement procedures would
    be around 41 Billion Dollars if all drugs were legal; about nine billion if
    marijuana were legal alone

    Just a few facts I’ve uncovered in my research to legalize marijuana on a national level. This Blog is really awesome. Thank you for your research. I’m writing a paper on this subject and you have pointed me in a multitude of directions that I need to support my thesis,

    Thank You


    sources: fbi.gov

  2. When public officials decry the social costs of marijuana, they talk through their hats. One should always remember that virtually every cost attributed to marijuana has been called for by THEM, NOT by pot smokers! Every arrest, court case, lawyer’s fee, psychological evaluation and program of rehabilitation, etc., etc., has been called for and encouraged by either commercial interests or the corporatists in government, trying to squeeze another 100 million out of the “marijuana underclass.” That “underclass” itself has RARELY asked for (or needed) ANYTHING. And that, given that it is also rare for pot people ever make ANY trouble, and cause virtually no disease, accidents or violence suggests that the whole “harm complex,” i.e. the assumption of harm caused by marijuana, is almost completely fabricated, for a purpose, that purpose being the creation of cash streams for various business interests.

    So now with legalization. A huge ARMY of interests is lining up to cash in, not least among them being business interests which depend upon and require a certain amount of law-breaking or mental health issues to stay in business. The police are big among them, which is why police should not be permitted to lobby… likewise the legal profession and the rehab clinic business, which have huge vested interests in retaining some kind of legal issue, be it prohibition or DUIs, to tap as cash streams.

    Note that among 15M pot smokers before legalization, most of whom I wager did do drive stoned, that there has been no noticeable increase in traffic accidents. Has ANYBODY seen it? There ARE, literally, no significant social problems associated with marijuana. The same is true for violence, in fact, the known effects of marijuana should REDUCE any tendency toward violence people normally may have.

    The trumped up arguments we hear (against marijuana) are little more that negotiating for cash streams, and efforts to maximize those streams.

    The continued demonization and heavy exploitation of marijuana is little more than legal, systematic extortion.

  3. Anyone who writes a book tends to gather a following, whether he’s any good or otherwise. That applies double if the author parrots what readers already believe, whether true or not. The title of his book (Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana), which suggests that he’s on the side of legalization, is calculated to sell as many copies as possible. Of course Kevin Sabet is serving himself far more than the cause of justice.

  4. If the costs are less than $1Bn per state (i.e. the cost of prohibition, which is certain), far from there being social costs associated with legalization, there will be nothing but benefits. Every single state which legalizes will (on the average) realize huge savings relative to the cost of prohibition, and I believe, virtually ZERO actual LEGITIMATE positive costs associated with legal marijuana itself.

  5. Social costs associated with legal marijuana will be mostly TRUMPED UP, to pay every low-down leech who wants a piece of the action. The fact of the matter is that, apart from the cost of prohibition, which was TOTALLY unnecessary and in fact TOTALLY detrimental, the social cost of 15M pot smokers in the US has been ABOUT ZERO.

    Even if, say, 4X as many Americans smoke pot after legalization as before, 4 X ZERO is STILL ZERO.

    The “authorities” have a lot of nerve complaining about the costs, when it is THEY who demanded them in the first place! What we SHOULD do is simply legalize pot and leave it at that. The sky would NOT fall. The costs would be ZERO. That minus the cost of prohibition would be – a GAIN of $50Bn/year.

    That’s not cost, that’s BENEFIT.

  6. Unfortunately many people don’t know that and take his word for truth, which is why cannabis is still illegal and has to fight a much harder struggle than it should. More public figures need to come out and discredit him. Perhaps some of the politicians who support legalization.

  7. Jeremy D. Pike on

    Kevin Sab..who? Ooooh, you mean that ideologically motivated book-seller who doesn’t have any sort of degree in the natural sciences?..He’s pretty irrelevant, imho.

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