The debate on Marijuana is clearly one sided. However the right side now must focus on a different argument from their previous one in order to drive this case home. California has been the progressive leader in the revolution of Marijuana reform and debates in America. Previous discourse has focused on the fact that Marijuana isn't the deadly gateway drug that close minded politicians and power hungry authority figures have portrayed it to be. Obviously we are learning more and more about the benefits and medical aspects that moderate use of Marijuana has. Marijuana advocates must take a different approach and if they do this well I have no doubt that Marijuana use will be just as legal as Alcohol consumption in this country. This factor is the economic impact that Marijuana legalization and regulation will have in fighting our enormous budget deficit. Marijuana is a huge cash crop in America, there is no doubt about it. If legalized and taxed in a way that would give back to the state, then the large deficit would be nearly cut in half. Prison sentences and police resources to combat Marijuana users and dealers are pointless. They cost millions of dollars a year and result in overcrowding of state and federal prisons...No one benefits on any of this.
When will the law makers get their heads out of the sand? You have to motivate them with something they believe in....MONEY! The chance to make money on such a cash crop would be more than enough of a signifier for the powers that be to consider doing the right thing with this issue. We all know that Marijuana isn't the deadly killer that our grandparents generation considered it to be. But unfortunately in order to do the right thing we need to put a price tag on this issue rather than a tag of morality. Any responsible economist would agree that Marijuana sales would provide a tremendous boost to a state's economy. The debate is generally focused on California, but can be applied to a much larger scale...We should be considering a federal legalization...Obviously.
Here are some articles with some numbers: