New Jersey, The Herb-Garden State?
By Ashby Jones, Washington Post Legal Blog
This week, more evidence of the direction in which we’re headed: New Jersey is poised to become the next state to allow residents to use marijuana, when recommended by a doctor, for relief from serious diseases and medical conditions. Click here for the story, from the WSJ’s Suzanne Sataline.
The state Senate has approved the bill and the state Assembly is expected to follow. The legislation would then head to the governor’s office for his signature.
Gov. Jon Corzine, the Democrat who lost his re-election bid this month, has indicated he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk before he leaves office in January. It would likely be one of Mr. Corzine’s last acts before relinquishing the job to Republican and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Christie has indicated he would be supportive of such legislation, but had concerns that one draft of a bill he read didn’t have enough restrictions, a spokeswoman said.
Federal law bars the use of marijuana. But legislatures in several states, including California, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont, permit use of the drug for medical purposes. Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier this year that federal prosecutors wouldn’t prosecute people complying with state medical marijuana laws.
On the topic of legalization, Paul Caron over at the Tax Prof Blog posted Monday about potential tax revenues states might take in were marijuana legalized and regulated. Caron refers to this table, published by CNN, which indicates that California, New York and Florida would take in a projected $105 million, $66 million and $48 million, respectively.
Caron also links to this little point/counterpoint from BusinessWeek on the benefits of legalization from a tax-revenue perspective.
Writing for the “pro” side, Stephen Easton of the Fraser Institute writes:
[S]elling the (legal) product at exactly the same prices as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue. Not chump change. Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse.
It is a proven technology. We did it in 1933 when Prohibition ended. Should we get back to the future?
On the other side, Bob Stutman of the Stutman Group writes:
The latest studies show that the U.S. collects about $8 billion yearly in taxes from alcohol. The problem is, the total cost to the U.S. in 2008 due to alcohol-related problems was $185 billion, and the government pays about 38% of that cost (about $72 billion), all due to consequences of alcohol consumption, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcholism. For every dollar the government collects in alcohol taxes, it expends about $9 (for such things as Medicare and Medicaid treatment for alcohol-related health troubles, long-term rehabilitation treatment, unemployment costs, and Welfare). Does that seem like a model for emulation?
Welcome to WhyProhibition.ca. We are working to repeal the prohibition of cannabis by organizing and educating the public. Sign up to get activism alerts, and access to organizing tools.
Already signed up? Login Below:
We need your postal code to identify your Member of Parliament! Register to find out your Member of Parliament!