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The U.S is Losing $53.23 Billion Each Year by Not Legalizing Marijuana


— April 15, 2020

Public policy wonks tend to look at the question of the legalization of marijuana from a purely social angle. They check to see how such legalization would affect the health and security of society. The legalization of weed, however, has fiscal implications that are often overlooked. Let’s get a glimpse of how much money the U.S. is losing by failing to legalize marijuana and how far legalization would go to help solve some of the most urgent issues in the U.S, plus how tax revenue collected from marijuana is spent.

By not legalizing marijuana, the United States government at all levels loses money in two ways: the cost of marijuana prohibition enforcement and tax revenue from legal weed.

The total amount of money lost by all states due to marijuana prohibition is $10.05 billion, while the Federal Government loses $25.64 billion. Among the states, California loses the most money at $1.4 billion, while the District of Columbia loses the $16.9 million, which is the lowest of all jurisdictions. The total losses associated with this prohibition is a very substantial $53.23 billion.

Please click on the graphic below to learn more about what we can do with that money.

What We Can Do with $53.23 Billion; graphic courtesy of author.
What We Can Do with $53.23 Billion; graphic courtesy of author.

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