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Cato: NJ, PA Spent $373 Million On Marijuana Enforcement

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
A new report this week from the Cato Institute called “ The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition” shed some light on the local costs of marijuana enforcement.

The report estimates that New Jersey spent $183,039,000 and Pennsylvania $190,445,000 on policing, prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana offenses in 2008 alone.

The Cato white paper includes state-by-state breakdowns of drug prohibition related costs in an analysis from Harvard University economist Jeffery Miron and co-author Katherine Waldock.

Hard numbers on the exact costs of marijuana prohibition enforcement are vital but were previously tough to glean. Miron studied the arrests then the judicial costs and finally the costs of incarceration.

Through researching the current expenses, Miron projected the real-world savings that could be found through legalization. These budget savings would be direct to state and municipal authorities.

The report also estimates the potential revenues from legal cannabis. If taxed and regulated like tobacco or alcohol, the pure sin-tax revenue from marijuana could be $80 million annually for New Jersey and over $119 million annually for Pennsylvania.

The authors considered their calculations to be conservative and conclude their report with the following statement.

None of these considerations weakens the critique of drug prohibition since that critique has always rested mainly on other considerations, such as the crime, corruption, and curtailment of civil liberties that have been the side-effects of attempting to fight drug use with police officers and prisons.42 What the estimates provided here do provide are two additional reasons to end drug prohibition: reduced expenditure on law enforcement and an increase in tax revenue from legalized sales.

Read the full Cato report: http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/DrugProhibitionWP.pdf

NewsHawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: examiner.com
Author: hris Goldstein, the Philadephia NORML Examiner
Copyright: 2010 Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com
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Website: Cato: NJ, PA spent $373 Million on marijuana enforcement - Philadelphia norml | Examiner.com


New Member
CA= $959,755,000 on prohibition of MJ/ '08 - thats ~ 1/20th of our state's current budget shortfall right there.
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