Prewriting 1

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Prewriting 1

Post  Nick Jones on Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:22 pm

What would the economic effects of legalizing marijuana be?

Marijuana has been used for thousands of years around the world, and wasn't illegal in the United States until the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This is law put a nearly un-payable tax on those dealing in marijuana. However, since 1969, voter approval of marijuana legalization has gone up from 16% to 56%. It is estimated that $15 billion worth of marijuana is sold per year in California, which means if legalized, marijuana tax could generate up to $1.3 billion per year. WHile not legal on a federal level, some states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes (Colorado and Washington). 64% of voters say that the federal government should not intervene in these states.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijuana_legalization)

Marijuana legalization is staunchly opposed by the Obama administration. On the economic aspect of the drug's legalization, the White House claims that they are all negative. Firstly, they say that it would decrease the cost of the drug greatly. This is great for users "of age," but there are worries that lower prices and availability will also lead to younger kids using it. Based off of patterns seen in both the taxation of tobacco and alcohol, the White House claims that the tax revenue generated from marijuana would not even cover the amount of money spent in marijuana related incidents. They also claim that legalization would FURTHER burden the criminal justice system, again from marijuana related incidents. Many of the people now imprisoned for marijuana related incidents are not in for possession alone (less that 0.7%), and of those that are, many were pleaded down from a larger charge. Finally, the White House claims that it would do little, if anything to curb drug violence. Marijuana trade accounts for only a portion of the drug cartels' activity, and legalization would not deter them from continuing with other drugs and things like human trafficking. Also, since legal marijuana would be highly taxed and therefor expensive, cartels could simply undercut those prices and continue to sell.
(http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/marijuana-legalization)

States that have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes have done so for good reason. Legalization leads to regulation which means control. And if you are in control of an industry, you will make money off of it. People also argue that by keeping it illegal, we give the majority of benefits (profits) to gangs and cartels. Plus, we spend quite a bit of money chasing these men down and keeping them imprisoned. It is estimated that a dealer busted for a $200 transaction can cost taxpayers $100,000 for a three year sentence. Legalization could take away up to $10 billion per year from the cartels. Domestic sails would also be very profitable, as marijuana is the second most lucrative cash crop, outdone only by corn. By looking at the example set with the repeal of prohibition, we see that legalization not only makes money through company revenue and taxes, but it also creates jobs, which in turn generates more income tax. Also, corporate and property taxes would be charged of growers.
(http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2012/04/20/stirring-the-pot-could-legalizing-marijuana-save-the-economy/2/)


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