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Over 500 Top Economists Support And Have Lobbied For Legalization


milton friedman marijuana legalization economistsMilton Friedman, who was one of the most well-known economists in the world, was joined by over 500 additional economists in signing a letter which broke down the economic benefits of legalization. The letter, which was written in 2005, was sent to then-President George Bush, Congress, and every state’s governor and legislature.

The letter states “Marijuana legalization — replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation — would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually.”

It continues, “The fact that marijuana prohibition has these budgetary impacts does not by itself mean prohibition is bad policy. Existing evidence, however, suggests prohibition has minimal benefits and may itself cause substantial harm.”

The letter was, of course, ignored by most of the elected officials it was sent to, but in some instances, lawmakers have used it as an argument for cannabis law reform – as should activists.

Revenue generated from legalization is only one of many reasons to legalize marijuana, but it’s a big one, and one that catches the eyes of a lot of people.

Source: The Joint Blog


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Johnny Green


  1. If you want to know the real economics of marijuana prohibition, read Catherine Austin Fitts excellent article: “Narco Dollars For Beginners.” – keeping in mind that while Fitts employs cocaine because it best suits her metaphor, FBI statistics show marijuana sales comprise 80 percent of all “illegal” drug transactions.


    “The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It’s possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government.”

    – William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995

  2. Cyrus Palmer on

    The 7.7 billion saved plus the 6.2 billion generated dwarf whatever the anti-marijuana lobbies pay to keep it illegal, so what was the problem? The system just doesn’t work.

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