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Oregon, DC, And Alaska Have A Chance To Save Big With Marijuana Legalization


Legalize Marijuana legalization cannabis prohibition tea partyAn argument that doesn’t seem to have the weight it should among the legalization crowd is the amount that would be saved if the Drug War is ended. This argument should have a particular weight with your conservative friends. Maybe they won’t be sold on the fact that the Drug War is racially biased or the amount of people imprisoned by the Drug War, but their eyes will widen when they see the amount of taxes saved.

Ankur Chawla, a writer for State Sight, released astounding numbers for what he predicted would be saved. His numbers accounted for law enforcement expenditures, judicial expenditures, and prison expenditures, which pretty much sums up all the elements of the Drug War quite nicely. His final numbers for saving in Oregon was $90,613,650 a years, Washington D.C. could save up to $44,655,310 a year, and Alaska could save up to $19,499,920 a year. Imagine all that money still in the pockets of the tax-payer, or at least going to something more worthwhile.

I may not be the biggest fan of state-funded programs, but I would certainly prefer these funds going to some kind of scientific research or public aid rather than public imprisonment. I cannot even fathom $154,768,880 being wasted on something as ridiculous as marijuana prohibition.

Instead of fostering knowledge for the next generation, we are keeping them shrouded in ignorance with an enormous cost. Instead of fighting global hunger, we are making sure your neighbor isn’t smoking pot. Instead of allowing citizens to keep the money they have earned, the government will use it for a bad doctrine. And instead of spending this money on the exploration and discovery of our universe, we will be putting you behind bars.


About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. Whatever the amounts being saved, Measure 91 will not pass if we don’t VOTE. So get out the vote get your friends and family to vote….do it TODAY!

    Yes on 91!

  2. Please stop using photos from Woodstock or stereotypical appearing ’60s hippies when presenting a supportive piece about legalization.
    This type of visual only helps reinforce the lazy stoner mindset, alienates “regular appearing” folks, and generally undermines the legalization initiative.
    Focus forward…

  3. Think of the parks and community centers that could be built and funded for FAR less that the insane amount that is mis spent in the drug war.

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