Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis

Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis: "Milton Friedman, 500+ Economists Call for Marijuana Regulation Debate; New Report Projects $10-14 Billion Annual Savings and Revenues
Savings/Revenues Projected in New Study by Harvard Economist Could Pay For:

**Implementing Required Port Security Plans in Just One Year

**Securing Soviet-Era 'Loose Nukes' in Under Three Years

Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year, finds a June 2005 report by Dr. Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard University.

The report has been endorsed by more than 530 distinguished economists, who have signed an open letter to President Bush and other public officials calling for 'an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition,' adding, 'We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods.'

Chief among the endorsing economists are three Nobel Laureates in economics: Dr. Milton Friedman of the Hoover Institute, Dr. George Akerlof of the University of California at Berkeley, and Dr. Vernon Smith of George Mason University.

Dr. Miron's paper, 'The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition,' concludes:

**Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels."