Posted in: Politics

Marijuana Tax Considered By Cash-Strapped States

Marijuana Tax

A marijuana tax is being considered as a reason to legalize the drug by several cash-strapped states, including New York and Maine.

Advocates of marijuana have said that taxing the drug could help pump cash into states struggling to make ends meet. However, skeptics have disagreed.

But some lawmakers agree with advocates. They assert that legalizing marijuana and taxing it would help put a large amount of money into state budgets still recovering from the recession.

Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) agrees. He added, “I’ve seen some estimates in the high tens of millions, as much as $100 million” for Colorado. The state’s voters legalized recreational marijuana during the last election.

Polis and others are arguing for a federal law that legalizes the drug. He added that, should projections be correct, Colorado would be able to fund struggling programs like education. Schools, especially those in poorer districts, are suffering.

Along with Colorado, Washington State voters also passed a recreational marijuana law. Under the law, marijuana would be taxed at four levels: growing, production, retail, and consumer. Growers, manufacturers, and retailers would also have to apply for an annual license to handle the substance. The license costs $1,000.

Dale Geiringer also supports the idea of a marijuana tax. Gieringer, who is the director of California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, stated that legalizing the drug would bring in more than $1.2 billion to the state. However, the study assumes a traditional sales tax, along with an additional $50 levy for every ounce of marijuana sold.

Skeptics are also cautioning that there is a lot of exaggeration on the part of activists. Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Miron, a pro-legalization scholar at the Cato Institute, cautioned that a marijuana tax “is not a cash cow that can solve anyone’s fiscal problems.” Instead, a nationwide legalization that taxes marijuana like alcohol and tobacco would bring in about $6.4 billion. $4.3 billion would be for the government and states would get $2.1 billion.

Do you think a marijuana tax would be a substantial boon for governments?

Image via United States Fish and Wildlife Service]

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180 Responses to “Marijuana Tax Considered By Cash-Strapped States”

  1. Ben Lee

    To be correct, the plant. As should coca, papavir somniferum, and the ghat plant. I don't know about anyone else, but I sure could use some coca leaves or ghat (although I've never tried them) later in the day when coffee doesn't work anymore. If God made "drugs" then its new news to me. He apparently said it was good too. Who can you trust? Our SMCR campaign in Missouri made an impact in 2012 even though we did not succeed on the first round. Viralize that.

  2. Jay Hickerson

    Was this the only reason weed hasn't been legalized yet? If the US would wise up and legalize weed the country would both make a ton of money through taxes and save a bigger ton of money by the money saved in the prison systems. One of the reasons they would not make weed legal is the money prisons make off of weed, Think about it would you rather have to deal with a violent thug in prison or a guy that was caught with a joint and now is serving a 5 year sentence? And the prison systems use prisoners to work for companys and make money off of the prisoners and again it is easier to deal with a guy locked up for weed because most of the weed smokers are very mellow, get the point? Prisons are big bussiness and there is alot of people in high positions that have invested in prisons so you gotta get by them first!

  3. Rh Hansen

    legalize it now. Better than all the poisonous legal drugs.

  4. Greg Cochran

    This marijuana tax would be beneficiary to states that are strapped for cash plus legalizing marijuana would help our economy especially a marijuana tax would greatly bnefit our government and our pharmaceutical companies plus if I was sick with cancer I would use marijuana as my main treatment for cancer in case if I get diagnosed with it plus the indians also used it fr medical purposes let's legalize it now for the sake of our economy and for medical reasons as well.

  5. Greg Cochran

    This marijuana tax would be beneficiary to states that are strapped for cash plus legalizing marijuana would help our economy especially a marijuana tax would greatly bnefit our government and our pharmaceutical companies plus if I was sick with cancer I would use marijuana as my main treatment for cancer in case if I get diagnosed with it plus the indians also used it fr medical purposes let's legalize it now for the sake of our economy and for medical reasons as well.

  6. Greg Cochran

    This marijuana tax would be beneficiary to states that are strapped for cash plus legalizing marijuana would help our economy especially a marijuana tax would greatly bnefit our government and our pharmaceutical companies plus if I was sick with cancer I would use marijuana as my main treatment for cancer in case if I get diagnosed with it plus the indians also used it fr medical purposes let's legalize it now for the sake of our economy and for medical reasons as well.

  7. Ben Lee

    Or just exercise your constitutional right and petition. What if it were deemed illegal to have a certain body fat percentage, because of the costs of health care. What if people were put in prisons and labor camps to use that energy up. Hmmm. Well that would seem more logical in my opinion and increase overall human progress rather than lock someone up for a plant. But then again who would man the prisons?

  8. Michael Mcardle

    Make it like a fishing license. Yearly for residents weekly for visitors. Fk big business let people grow their own. Big B just waste money on BS. Our last 3 Presidents were pot heads. The people in government are so stupid it makes me sick.

  9. Mark Foertch

    Tthis also should take the violence and killings by the gangs and drug cartels assocated with the black market that our own government has created by their war on this product!

  10. Mr.Timothy Harrington

    they would sell water leaf and call pot pot , quaility will suffer by going leagle because it's all pot select buds will cost more and leaf will be substituted resulting in home grown again

  11. Kristopher Schroder

    Wow How long Have people said Package MJ like Cigs & TAX IT! Wow We really have some Idiots Running this Country.

  12. Kyle Black

    Legalize it already. Yes it is beneficial. C'mon now! There is no downsides. Cut the crap already.

  13. James Hallock

    I don't think that "taxing" it would do anygood, because for 1 thing. It would be just as expensive if not more than what we pay now. Because the government would not allow us to "grow" out own. Just like tobacco cigs, we pay huge tax on a picture of cigs…

  14. James Hunt

    I'm ok with taxing it only if Obama and the Government will legalize it in every state, and not leave it up to each state. The time has come for some old school southern state to change there way of thinking. when will they ever learn they lost the war with pot laws years ago and realize pot is here to stay. so let the country make money off of it and start by changing the law. Please Mr Obama do this in your first year of re election and not the 4th. let everyone see just how much money the pot tax will bring in.

  15. Gina Haynor-Pierson

    Don't let the dispensaries make all the money…Federal legalization and taxation would do great good in many states…starting with Michigan! Legalize it for the greater good…..

  16. Kyle Black

    How would they lose billions on a product that can rake in billions? You should think before you talk. You are an idiot.

  17. Kyle Black

    Timothy just stop talking please. You sound like an idiot.

  18. Luisa Kelly

    There are many benefits that would come from legalization of marijuana/hemp. Greed is a terrible thing and our Federal Government is over flowing with greed. It's nice to read a couple other states considering all the possibilities. One can only hope many will follow.

  19. Don Lovell

    the government will eventually make it too expensive for legit patients on fixed income.
    the level of graft and corruption the system will put in place will be monumental.

  20. Sammy Aller

    they would (maybe not billions) lose alot of money because ppl would buy weed instead of what they are selling

  21. Michael Conroy

    Kyle Black Pharmaceutical companies would lose billions because people would buy marijuana instead of taking pills for things such as insomnia, pain, hunger etc. So maybe You should think before you talk. You are an idiot.

  22. Tyler Chasco

    That makes sence Sammy , but you wont get the idiot Kyle Black to believe you , he is stoned and thinks he is smarter than ALL!! Look at his posts, they are all about how Dumb everyone else is. Grow up man

  23. Luisa Kelly

    I don't think that we would have to pay too much more after a tax on it (if it was to expensive they would buy from them, well at least the smart ones). You would also be able to grow yourself, you'd just have to pay for a license to do so. Can you imagine the potency level for what would be being produced? There would be even more horticulturist who specialize in hemp/marijuana growth.

  24. Robert Tassic

    I'm sorry but your "Don't let the dispensaries make all the money" statement is false dispensaries HAVE to be non-profit and all money generated goes to state and charity.

  25. David Jordan

    I Think states that sell weed the leaders should be in jail for being a drug dealer. I think all jobs should test foe weed and if you do it no job. We need to kill the cancer that destroys family and sell it.

  26. Rohlan Hoth

    Legalize it! The only reason it is ilegal now is because someone in the government is making ALOT of money keeping it ilegal, don't drink and drive smoke and fly.

  27. Rick Garcia

    The tax income would not be the only benefit. There are a lot of social costs that legalization could transform into financial gains. For example if marijuana were legal the states and local governments could save huge amounts by not having to spend money to maintain the large part of the criminal justice designed to arrest, prosecute, defend and imprison marijuana smokers and sellers. The money now used to pay for police, prosecutors, public defenders, Judges, corrections officers, other court personnel, court facilities, jail facilities could be used to ease the burden on local governments and to protect the public from violent criminals and thieves. Large squads of police officers used to set up "stings" to arrest a bunch of people buying and selling $10 bags of marijuana could be used to target violent criminals which pose the true risk to our society. Families can also be spared the social and financial costs inflicted on them when family members are stigmatized with criminal convictions. The amount of money saved by governments and families should be added to the direct tax income to get the real picture of the financial benefit of legalizing marijuana. The marijuana prohibition laws create an artificial crime; i.e., something a "crime" in name only and as close as any "crime" can come to being truly "victimless."

  28. Chris Fullerton

    Do you grow your own tobacco now? I'd bet not. Besides it's not about what the product costs, it's about WHERE the money goes! Now it goes to CRIME, legalization would take that money out of the pockets of organized crime and put it back into the pockets of our State and federal systems to help with everything from education (for those who do not partake) to heathcare (for those who do, and have no motivation to work)

  29. Rick Novick

    Yeah, James said, "we pay huge tax on a picture of cigs…" A "picture" of cigarettes? Really! I'm gonna stop taking pictures of cigarette smokers immediately.

  30. Brian Woodcock

    Cynthia hit the nail right on the head. Pharmaceutical companies are the main blockers. Do some research Kyle and you will see that your an idiot.

  31. Richard Daniels

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the reason they haven't fully legalized pot yet is because they would tax it like like they do Cigarettes. Once they start heaping on 20 different taxes it only moves cultivation further underground. Why pay tax on something you can grow in your bathroom?

  32. Oscar Slotkin

    Kyle Black is the real idiot. He should think before he talks.

  33. Terry Kott

    You know our moral fabric has eroded when they want to make a drug legal. Medical and Industrial Hemp farming are not condemned but "getting high" or recreational use is. God has an absolute moral standard and we all are accountable to Him.

  34. Matt Leach

    I've heard tax collection figures that dwarf these numbers – an average of nearly $15B/state/year… Not to mention, it would create jobs in marketing, design, logistics, agriculture, paraphernalia, and horticulture, just to name a few…

  35. Julianne Kohn

    the big money is in hemp. you can make paper, clothes, furniture, rope, etc. etc. etc. this not including the jobs it will create.
    i'm all for legalizing marijuana but the focus should be hemp and the rest will follow.

  36. Terry Kott

    If you read Genesis chapter 1 you will see that when God created everything He proclaimed it "good". It was not until AFTER Adam disobeyed God by eating the fruit He told him not to eat that disease, degradation, and death came into the world. God cursed the ground.

  37. Anonymous

    Kyle Black,
    Huh, really?? Big Pharma would lose serious money. So would the alcoholic beverage industry. The reason it was first legalized as "medicine" many drug company lobbyists protested. Why?? Cause they saw it (and still do) as a treat to their bottom line. MANY people would rather use Marijuana than take other pain relief and nausea medicine. As for the alcohol industry, they rightfully see it for what it is. A safer, not to mention non-addictive way to relax. Another thing, nobody has ever died from cannabis consumption (consuming, not activities AFTER consuming, tho compared to alcohol even those instances are extremely rare). How many people each year die from getting drunk and asphyxiate themselves. That doesn't happen with pot.

    And YOU called someone else and idiot?? Wow.Obviously you have a computer. Use it to research instead of insulting people with your ignorance.

  38. Kenneth Wood

    kyle you would be wrong on this. why would someone pay a lot of money for meds if you could grow a plant in your yard that would solve your problem ? pharmaceutical companies have been trying to keep it illegal for years. but its not just them its lumber industry as well . if it wasn't for them it would of never been criminalized in the first place. you should read up a bit before you start calling people names. cause you are the ignorant person on this one .

  39. Ernest Dunkel

    They are not trying to make a drug legal. Marijuana is not a drug. What is going on is they are trying to take the illegal status off of a "WEED" that is a god given plant that the drug companies have no control over, and the oil companies do not want to see because it can replace oil with a renewable energy source.

  40. Ryan Walton

    You do know that god is about as real as santa clause and the tooth fairy right? Basically youre saying that because its against your religion, it should be illegal. Wonderful logic.

  41. Day Jones

    If they tax it then it means the government will start selling it like tobacco and they will start putting harmful chemicals in it like they do tobacco.

  42. Keal Franklin

    Because people would quit using many of the pills that are being pumped into them by BIG PHARMA. We have cannabinoid receptors in our brains by nature. Ever wonder why? Because somewhere along the genetic highway from single cell organism to modern homo sapien we used cannabis in some form or another. That or God created us with receptors because he knew we'd need them once we got enough sense to legalize it. Don't call people names. It ain't cool.

  43. Martin Gray

    a traditional sales tax, along with an additional $50 levy for every ounce of marijuana sold. Ok so an ounce is going to cost me how much? Because if there thinking of selling it at a price say 10 fold over what the going rate for it is now then I'll stick to the back ally deal thank you. I'm only good with it as long as it's not jacked up to 400.00 an ounce.

  44. Mike Hills

    Robert Tassic I'm sorry but you have no idea of what you speak. I have friends who own dispensaries in California and they have great profit and don't give it away. They do however reinvest in their own business. No disrespect Robert maybe in your state but not mine.

  45. Will Cornwell

    Pharmaceutical companies generally make the most money off of drugs that they would legally have the rights to be the sole producer of. They would essentially have a monopoly on the production of that drug and could charge a hefty sum without competition. They would have a patent for that particular medicinal compound. You can't patent a plant.

  46. Keal Franklin

    Here's what's funny- For the most part, the same folks who are totally against legalization of cannabis also claim to believe in God. Let's see now, God created the cannabis plant according to these same geniuses but he wasn't smart enough to make it without the THC (which makes you high). Either that or God made an evil plant. Which is it? Neither. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SMOKE!

  47. Michelle Hector-Batson

    The big companies won't have control of the "drug" or it's revenue's. I say they were behind the whole "Reefer Madness", they knew then the positive properties so why pay $$$$ for a pill that probably has side effects or overdose because you forgot how much you took and when you took it OR you grow your own medicine or buy it from a local farmer

  48. Steve Brown

    Can you imagine how much money a federal tax on marijuana could rake into the coffers of the IRS. And if the IRS parleyed the marijuana tax revenues(MTR) by using the money to develop advanced collection software programming technologies the federal net yield on (MTR) would be very high indeed.

  49. Carlos Espada

    this is another case where lobbyists be it tobacco, pharmacuetical, prison and who knows what other interest is threatened by this who have swayed politicians and even public opinion on this..Its incredible that as a nation we have been able to embrace gay rights but not legalization of cannabis..and boy what a dissapointment Holder and Obama have been on this…Might as well tax it knuckleheads because u ain't stopping it and other people are getting rich off your ignorance…Tax revunues for schools, infrastracture and the poor.

  50. Michael Stewart

    I figured this out 10 years ago, why are our lawmakers so slow to grasp simple fixes to our money crisis. There are 3 other ways I came up with for a solution to our debt crisis. Legalize and tax all forms of gambling, legalize, regulate, and tax prostitution, and legalize the sale of highway rest stops to commercial entities like restaurants and gas stations.

  51. Theryl McCoy

    No pharmaceutical company is going to go out of business! People love taking a pill because it's convenient. Have any grocery stores gone out of business because people grow their own food? heck no. I go to the store… bam there's my food. There is no planting, growing, harvesting, drying, trimming, and six months later there's your food.

    People are lazy, and for this reason taking a pill will always be the preferred way.

  52. Jason E Bowlby

    I say let all states legalize it, keep the revinue in the state and screw the feds on this deal.

  53. Jason E Bowlby

    I say let all states legalize it, keep the revinue in the state and screw the feds on this deal.

  54. Sam Mcconnell

    @robert tassic. Ya, non profit. But the people running the place can pay them self any amount they want. No money gos to the state, nor charity. Im sure a few give a little here and there, but your uneducated

  55. Dennis Gale

    I'm all for legalizing weed but all that's going to happen is our government will spend more on b.s. and continue to be as broke as ever. Look at how much they tax alcohal and cigs. Damn sure gave the greedy pukes enough money in my time. Also if they legalize it are companies going to have to allow employees to toke up on their free time?

  56. Keal Franklin

    I'm with you dude. You could tax the freaking air we breathe and the government would still spend more than it takes in.

  57. R Kenneth ONeal

    Kyle, youre an idiot. Therres plenty of drugs that weed would directly compete with, and at a much cheaper price. The big pharma companies would easily lose billions. Treatment for glaucoma affected by the elevated blood pressure in the eyes is 430 bucks for a 1.2 ounce bottle by PFizer. Golden Goat, here in Colorado is around 200 bucks an ounce. Which would you buy? Now your drug company is losing real money.

  58. Nash Reiter

    The US didn't have any problems with marijuana until they made it illegal. The US doesn't have problems with a lot of stuff until they make it illegal.I love gays and I love weed. I hate Dave Jordans.

  59. Michael Mccloskey

    I don't see anything wrong with it. There is not one documented case of anyone that died from it! People that are against it need to smoke a joint get off prozak stop getting drunk and beating the wife up and making people into criminals who grow plants. That way people can wear T-shirts that say Kush on them Instead of Bud Light and people won't look at them like criminals!

  60. Terry Kott

    Marijuana IS a drug Ernest. Getting high is wrong, period. Take it from me, a person who used and grew it for many years.

  61. Andrey Dickinson

    I wish they would legalize it. Let the retards smoke it.

  62. John Putkey

    my god your arrogant kyle. Who will need to buy it from the pharmaceutical company????? Its illegal to grow therefore it can only legally produced in the medical field. If it were legal we would not have to go to them, just grow it. Its been growing for thousands of years.

  63. Robin Seifried

    Legalizing it will be up to each state's voters. Michigan's attorney general closed all medical dispensaries. Patients either grow their own or get a licensed caregiver. Other than whining about Shuette and government, the patients I know don't seem to be having trouble finding support. Do people really want to buy from a dispensary, become identified (and possibly targeted) for being in a dispensary, and get taxed on top of all that, when they can grow their own or trade with other stoners? Compassion clubs are all about learning to grow and linking up with others in need. It is a medication. don't tax it. Is there any proof that state/local government can make an ongoing specific amount of revenue from pot sales? Its a pipe dream.

  64. David Pauley

    How come they need to do this. Everytime you get a raise they get a raise in taxes just by earning a little more. They need to live in their means and quit the pensions they give and the high amount of days off.

  65. Robert Marshall

    it boggles my mind that something people are asking to be taxed on and proven to aid the sick still needs thought even after a million studies and tests not to mention safer than products that kill like Alcohol and cigarettes I cant say it enough the government isn't about the people its about a sick power game.

  66. James Greenback

    It kills general productivity, ruins your awareness, and makes you fully retarded over time. Other than that, no downsides. It's fairly obvious you're a smoker Mr. Black, by you running around these comments on repeat "You sound like an idiot" when your responses make you look the same. Though you don't even seem to grasp half the points you respond to. I wonder why that is. You could have been born dumb, but after adding a great smoking addiction to that swing and miss genetic lottery you were dealt it seems you're double fk'd. It's beneficial to people with terminal illnesses, and those that can't function from an ailment. Not those that need to "toke up" to help ignore the fact that they are doing nothing with their lives, or is that the other way around ;)

  67. Anonymous

    The advocates are missing the savings from reduction in costs related to enforcement and incarceration.

  68. Anonymous

    Jay Hickerson, I believe you are talking about the Law Enforcement Industrial Complex.

  69. John Billy

    why david,,cause they're gay or cause they're fags??rlool

  70. Jill Darvil

    I have cronic pain due to multiple injuries for yrs and have taken many many many diff meds for pain, a friend mentioned trying it I did and let me tell yall it's better then the pills I function better and feel better then I ever did with the pills with none of the side affects.. I have told my doctor what I have done and she said if she could she would of been having me take the medical bud over the pills, I'm no longer taking the pills and see my doctor every 4 months she said since I have been on the medical bud some health issues I got have gotten better…

    Its not legal here so I get it shipped to me personally, just wish I didn't have to go through back channels to get it..

  71. Kenny Green

    it should have never been illegal. Only because the goverment wants to try to control the people instead of the people controling the goverment. " REMEBER, the Contisution reads:::::: WE THE POPLE. I didn;t see anything in the constistion that says, WE THE GOVERMENT!

  72. Tina Romero- Gonella

    Really they decided to jump on the ban wagon of all the drug dealer, to make money.. Funny funny funny.

  73. Sean Simpkin

    people like me are going to get ahold of it regardless of the legality of it. so it should be legalized enough of the bullshit already!

  74. Wayne Wintermute

    Of course we should legalize it and tax it just like alcohol! This government better get on the ball and wake up..smell the coffee! They're never going to stop it and it is better than drinking alcohol.

  75. Wayne Wintermute

    Of course we should legalize it and tax it just like alcohol! This government better get on the ball and wake up..smell the coffee! They're never going to stop it and it is better than drinking alcohol.

  76. Thom Kinoshta

    Why don't they just increase the fines 10X and bust everybody that get caught with pot. We are going to have a nation of stoneheads. not good.

  77. Ben Crompton

    The fact that states are even considering legalizing marijuana for the sole purpose of creating income for the states tells me that there really isn't anything wrong with it.

    How much money have we spent trying to keep marijuana out of the US (unsuccessfully)? Think of the billions we would save not having to keep up with the enforcement and prosecution of the ban on marijuana which is just as harmful to the world as alcohol. Hell anything can be harmful to the world when used inappropriately. Think of the millions we would make off of the taxes from selling marijuana in your local corner stores and gas stations!

    Conversely, I can see that if Marijuana were to become legal, there would be so many government regulations and taxes on it that it would still be cheaper to just grow your own or buy it off the street than from the corner store.

  78. Adam C Smith

    I don't see any reason why it's illegal. Farmers would make a killing growing it, hemp can be used for just about everything and is worth about 1,000 times as much as corn, and you can tax the drug. No one has ever died from pot. Make it legal.

  79. Mark Broughton

    Man made pills,,,God made Weed….Who do you trust?

  80. Eric Davis

    There would be a market for both, so I don't think pharmaceutical companies would lose as much as you're claiming. The problem with weed in its natural form is that it still gets you high, and that can be unwanted side effect for millions of people. If I'm in pain, I just want the pain to go away. I don't necessarily want to be pain free and be tripping out as well.

  81. Billie Jean

    Legalizing marijuana will decrease crime, sickness, hate and mental illness. Anyone else notice the symbol for the medical industry is two snakes wrapped around some kind of pole-like thing? With wings? Yea, I think that and Jesus saying "Physician heal thyself" should tell us all something. Not only would legalizing this plant (that should already be legal, it grows out of the ground for God's sake but I reckon the idiots on the hill think they own the ground as they think they own the rain) help our recession, it would heal our nation. However, going to be way hard to get a nation of smokers to go to war and fight causes that have nothing to do with us so I dunno if they will come off their high horses or not. Didn't see the Natives here swimming across the oceans to steal, rape and rob, did we? Better take a lesson from the people that were massacred, go back to their God..the real God. No man's law will stand forever, as they are made in efforts to rule over each other and that has never lasted. Won't here either. God said so, in that book..and in my heart. :)

  82. Jeffrey Doss

    Beware of letting the government get a taste of new revenue. If you think that they'll be satisfied with a small percentage tax, just wait. How much is the cigarette taxes per pack? Once the government sees how much you're willing to pay, the taxes will just keep going up, in the name of "the children and public safety etc." For those against legalizing marijuana, you should be pushing for government takeover of the production, distribution and price controlling of it. It would be of such low quality, limited supply and over-priced that no one would want to buy it. And if anyone dared to compete with the government, the entire force of the Justice Dept., IRS, EPA, FDA and the likes would rain down thunder on the poor soul. Nobody wins when the government enters the marketplace.

  83. Jonathan David Haggerty

    tax is a revenue and on every product this small 'tax' adds up to some vvery big numbers, projections are based on the number of smokers…source of information comes from
    either through census (sentences) or survey (self-admitted). That is a lot of money for both federal and state governments and free's up the law and prison system which with marijuana outlawed is an added expense. So we make profit off taxes before you calculate in the savings – and with a regulated product we would have a consistent process in which to purchase it in and QA/QC would be brought to the table. So it boils down to personal use and whatever positive or negative health affects… but we have drug stores and alcohol is legal simply for recreational use right? It has been proven that alcohol is worse, so…whats the problem?

  84. Hugh Yonn

    Cynthia Snyder In 2009, over 26,000 Americans were killed by prescription medications.

    Deaths caused by marijuana: NOT ONE in recorded history.

    Several years ago, I had surgery on my right shoulder. Pain medication was prescribed…"take one capsule every 4 hours."
    I took one capsule.
    I was down for over 20 hours. When I came to, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The next time I felt discomfort, I smoked a small amount of marijuana …pain gone, no after effects.
    I threw the pills out.

    Then I wrote:

    Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    My contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.

    I would be honored by your review.

  85. Hugh Yonn

    Among the largest financial windfalls would be from reduction of prison costs.

    I stayed 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense.

    While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 17 months. One lad was in for armed Post Office robbery with a sawed off shotgun…his stay, 20 months.

    When I went to the parole board after 3 years 'behind the wall,' I pointed this out to the panel members. Their response, "You must understand that yours was a very serious offense."

    I laughed about that for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book:

    Shoulda Robbed a Bank.

    When I was in, the entire Federal Prison population was just over 28,000. Drug offenders made up 53% of that number. I see today that population has risen to over 218,000.

    Prison is big business. It used to be called 'slavery.'

  86. Andy Clark

    Privatization of jails and prisons, makes prisons profitable. They need prisoners for them to make money. The southern states with high prison populations will fight against legalization for this reason.

  87. Cynthia Crowson Sullivan Riley

    This is a NO BRAINER. Any time you have an oportunity to create a tax base you will generate revenue.

  88. Marc Gannon

    Revenue will also come in the form of NOT WASTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS on the "WAR ON DRUGS".

  89. Cynthia Crowson Sullivan Riley

    Kyle Black you should think before you post. > RollingEyes< IDIOT!

  90. Cynthia Crowson Sullivan Riley

    Thats a load of crap James Greenback.

  91. Laura Moulton

    I do not know if I am for it or against. I get that a lot of money, crime and man power goes into trying to prevent it. I also know that violence and drug dealers are involved at this time. I can see many benefits of legalizing it. But we also know the down side of this. We have spent a lot of time making smoking cigarettes one step away from being illegal but now we want to legalize a drug that we smoke and that makes people high. We know it is a gate way drug and that it has negative consequences (out side of being illegal). I know alcohol is a drug and all that so I do not require any replies about that either. Just that I am not going to get drunk walking by some one drinking I will be exposed to marijuana if walk by someone smoking it unless I hold my breath but it will still be around me. We can no longer smoke cigarettes in side many placed (many apartment buildings and complexes have this rule as well) and we can't smoke outside in many areas either. So where exactly are we going to smoke dope that wont force it on others by way of second hand smoke? We aren't even allowed to smoke cigarette because of second hand smoke, what are the logistics of smoking dope. Will we have more people smoking it in front of and around children (their own and other people's) getting children high and role modeling drug use? I am on the fence with this one. Who will regulate the growing and selling of it. will we have marijuana packaging factories? who will sell it? I have not heard any of these realistic common sense questions asked or addressed by anyone.

  92. Steve Baranick

    If u don't do this u and all states will lose where else can u get the kind of money that each state needs u don't c the rich diggin in their pockets do ya hel no and they won't be smart it is not a bad medicine or to get hi, people get drunk and kill, killed my brother in 68 the guy was drunk ran a stop sign pow, so u accept that u and others who drink and smoke and killin urself, marijuana don't do that I been smokin 47 yrs my lungs r clear dig that,,,

  93. Steve Baranick

    If u don't do this u and all states will lose where else can u get the kind of money that each state needs u don't c the rich diggin in their pockets do ya hel no and they won't be smart it is not a bad medicine or to get hi, people get drunk and kill, killed my brother in 68 the guy was drunk ran a stop sign pow, so u accept that u and others who drink and smoke and killin urself, marijuana don't do that I been smokin 47 yrs my lungs r clear dig that,,,

  94. Troy Adamson

    James, James, James….It's been proven over several scientific studies that marijuana helps to alleviate several symptoms that normal folk suffer through everyday. Stress, arthritis, depression, insomnia, and even lack of libido can all benefit from usage of marijuana. Sit back, have a toke, and just let nature take effect.

  95. Troy Adamson

    James, James, James….It's been proven over several scientific studies that marijuana helps to alleviate several symptoms that normal folk suffer through everyday. Stress, arthritis, depression, insomnia, and even lack of libido can all benefit from usage of marijuana. Sit back, have a toke, and just let nature take effect.

  96. Troy Adamson

    "And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." -Genesis 1:12

  97. Troy Adamson

    "And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good." -Genesis 1:12

  98. Eric Lindell

    Yeah I know I voted for a politician to represent me, but when it comes to a change in federal law I believe we all should be able to vote and show weather the majority of the country wants/or not a law changed. Lets be fair and have "WE THE PEOPLE" make a deicision for a change, its only fair!

  99. Adrian Love

    It's a joke and proves how insane our society really is when a plant is illegal but the thought of making money is the only reason to make the plant legal. The plant is nature and it is everyones birth right to use nature for it's benefits. Everyone has the birth right to grow any type of nature they please. My rights are not given to me by a piece of paper.

  100. Adrian Love

    It's a joke and proves how insane our society really is when a plant is illegal but the thought of making money is the only reason to make the plant legal. The plant is nature and it is everyones birth right to use nature for it's benefits. Everyone has the birth right to grow any type of nature they please. My rights are not given to me by a piece of paper.

  101. Adrian Love

    It's a joke and proves how insane our society really is when a plant is illegal but the thought of making money is the only reason to make the plant legal. The plant is nature and it is everyones birth right to use nature for it's benefits. Everyone has the birth right to grow any type of nature they please. My rights are not given to me by a piece of paper.

  102. Jacob Hyzer

    hahaha i personally dont smoke, but a close family member who is a robot engineerm owns 2 homes 2 and 4 vehicles, does charity work and takes multiple vacations a year, with a masters, does, in fact he legally grows it and also provides it for 2 patients: one with MS and one with cancer. i dont smoke and im not even as successful or productive as this person. so before you shoot off your bias personal opinions, get some facts straight before making an uniformed outdated opinion

  103. Nikke Shelton

    Careful! This is turning into a cash cow for the Govt. If they tax it to much more people will be growing it illegally, just like liquor.

  104. Jacob Hyzer

    hahaha weed and gays, you can hate em but neither are going away. too bad we will be happy while u sit there miserable hating them, but your hate isnt going to change anything just make you miserable! :)

  105. Nikke Shelton

    You don't think there's a problem with prescription drugs???

  106. Bruce Ruttan

    Love ya Jay, but as you know the prison racket makes a lot of money for the special people who own them and they lobby greatly.

  107. Mike Bindschadler

    I'd rethink that Kyle, you're the idiot, if you don't know about the drug companies and the lobby they represent. She said the drug companies would lose billions, as opposed to the states making billions. Dee T Dee.

  108. Jeffrey Smith

    wait, so your telling me the government is just now realizing that weed could be profitable…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  109. Paul Harmon

    It is a good idea. Plus we can save a ton enforcing our stupid marijuana laws all over the world.

  110. Dale Morgan

    Hemp is different from the marijuana in the article. Hemp has little to no THC and will not get anyone high but it can be used to make cloth, oil, food, etc. A very useful plant.

  111. Beth Gallegly Hukill

    Kyle Black they will loose money only in the oil and gas sector of the economy as both can be used to make synthetic products.

  112. Tj Parks

    The one argument for marijuana that I find most aggravating: "Deaths caused by marijuana: NOT ONE in recorded history." Quite frankly, that is horse shit. Marijuana has been responsible for various accidents, motor vehicle and otherwise, that have resulted in deaths. I don't believe that that should be reason for it to be illegal (just a piss poor argument for it's legalization); it is a matter of responsibility just as it is with alcohol. If you smoke or drink that is fine (that's one of the perks of college), just do your best to try and act responsibly.

  113. Dayne Griffith

    good idea, the cocks make good money , let the states get some of the profitsn as well.

  114. Stephen Zmuda

    I have been saying this for years. Legalizing pot would possibly reduce the number of robberies. If tokers could buy weed legally they would have to rob people to feed their jones'. Also think of the reduction of smuggling over the border.

  115. Mark Calvin

    Marijuana used to be completely legal and tax free. The first time USA taxed it, it led to total prohibition and the "war against drugs".

  116. Mark Calvin

    Why are these states so "cash strapped"? They rake in billions in taxes through many avenues, such as sales tax and maybe income tax, gasoline taxes, etc.

  117. Matt Leach

    James, your response is just as ignorant because of how old fashioned and hypocritical it is… Marijuana is a natural medical solution that is as medically beneficial for common human ailments as the aloe plant and cocoa plant… Judging by your profile photo I would be willing to bet money that you've had a sunburn or two or in your lifetime and used aloe to sooth the burn so don't be a hypocrite… Not to mention, potheads are often more intelligent and inventive than the people who judge them… Steve Jobs was proud to admit that he dropped out of college and conjured Apple when tripping on acid while backpacking through Europe… The bottom line is that cannabis is no worse than already legalized vices like alcohol and tobacco… In fact, we've all heard by now pot has less negative effects… It is not up to you to be a nanny… And no matter what you say people will still find a way to get high so it's 'high time' we started collecting that tax money… Not to mention it would create much needed jobs in every state in design, marketing, logistics, packaging, agriculture, horticulture, and paraphernalia to name just a few…

  118. Michael Wilson

    Marijuana should not cost much more than a box of teabags if an when the regulations are reduced. You can tell Mr. Geiringer that I will not agree to a tax since my rights are not for sale and I do not believe in bribing politicians and this tax for trade is exactly that, a bribe. Michael Wilson, Director Thurston County NORML.

  119. Mark Calvin

    Lol. If there is a "god" and it cursed everybody down the whole line of humanity for some dickhead eating an apple, then why worship it?

  120. Hichem Pierre-louis

    You are obviously completely misinformed about marijuana and its effects. Get real facts and not just your opinion. "makes you fully retarded over time"?!?!?! Tell the Dutch that! And yes a tax on it would be beneficial to our great nation.