Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?

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Michael McHugh
Composition II
Julie Herskovitz
08/10/2011

Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?
Marijuana Legalization and the Revenue from Marijuana Sales

The war on drugs is an expensive battle, as a great deal of resources and time go into catching those who buy or sell illegal drugs on the black market, prosecuting them in court, and housing them in jail. These costs seem particularly exorbitant when dealing with the drug marijuana, as it is widely used, and is likely no more harmful than currently legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. There's another cost to the war on drugs, which is the revenue lost by local, state and federal governments who cannot collect taxes on illegal drugs.

As Washington breaks the bank on Wall Street bailouts, President Barack Obama's stimulus package and other spend-now, pay-later measures, most observers agree that politicians will eventually need to increase revenue or cut spending to cover the federal government's debts. Washington could begin to balance its books now if politicians would take a serious look at the marijuana industry. In California the owner of two retail outlets for medical marijuana claims that his business’s generate $1 million in revenue annually, and pays around $80,000 a year in sales taxes to the state of California. But the federal government, which does not acknowledge sales as legitimate commerce, gets nothing from his business. Inside a cannabis dispensary, federal authorities have spent time trying to close this man’s and other medical-marijuana clubs.

Washington is losing money with tax’s, just imagine how much the federal government would save if they stopped cracking down on sellers .One very important and often used comparison with alcohol is that alcohol is taxed very heavy, every time the local, state or federal government need more money they go after alcohol and cigarettes. Marijuana could be taxed the same. It should be the reason to legalize Cannabis, it...
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