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Post  garrettL on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:12 pm

How would the legalization of marijuana affect the economy and the national debt? Marijuana is illegal in most countries and has been since the 1930’s. Some countries have decriminalized possession charges for small quantities of marijuana. Marijuana is legal in Netherlands, North Korea and would be Colorado and Washington if wasn’t for federal law.

However the medicinal use of marijuana is legal in many places including Canada, the Czech Republic and Israel. There are also states that allow the medicinal use of marijuana although federal law bans any possession or distribution. States like Colorado and Washington have repealed the act that prohibits the recreational use of cannabis. In 1937 the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 which was the first law making possession of cannabis illegal.

There are many people in the United States that advocate the legalization because they believe it will eliminate illegal trade, stop crime, and be a good tax source. In a poll done in 1969 only 19% of the population supported the legalization. In a similar poll done in 2009 45% to 50% of the population supported the legalization. According to reports supports of the California initiative estimate that about $15 million dollars’ worth of marijuana was sold in a year. This would mean that if there was an excise tax on marijuana it would generate $1.3 billion a year.

With the new legalization of Marijuana in Colorado and Washington its estimated these states combined will generate $550 million. More than 300 economists estimating that legalizing pot would save the US up to $14 billion a year. According to a 2007 study inmates incarcerated for marijuana related charges cost the US $1 billion a year. One popular economist estimated in 2010 that legal marijuana could be a $45 to $100 billion industry.

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