One of the biggest talking points in favor of ending marijuana prohibition is that it saves tax payer dollars, which are being wasted with every marijuana investigation and/or arrest. Oregon voters approved marijuana legalization in 2014. In that same year, the DEA spent a TON of taxpayer dollars on marijuana eradication. Per the Washington Post:
That year, the DEA succeeded in removing 16,067 pot plants from Oregon, which at first blush sounds like a lot of weed. But when you do the math, that works out to a cost to taxpayers of $60 per uprooted plant. That is a lot when you consider that nationally, it costs the DEA *ahem* $4.20 to eliminate a single marijuana plant under this program.
The DEA has budgeted $760,000 in marijuana eradication funds for Oregon this year, according to KGW. Considering that marijuana is now legal in that state, many Oregonians — including some members of Congress — are questioning whether that’s a sensible endeavor. They are trying to defund the federal anti-pot program that costs about $18 million a year overall.
The DEA is so hellbent on keeping marijuana prohibition in place, that it is spending more money per plant eradicated in a state where marijuana is legal than it does nationally – over 14 times more. I don’t support cartel grows by any means, but the way to get rid of those grows is to get rid of the demand for them by diverting that demand towards a regulated industry and home cultivation, and not by wasting sixty tax payer dollars per plant.