Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 2009
Source: Bellingham Herald (WA)
Copyright: 2009 Bellingham Herald
Author: Ben Keever


It is obvious that our once-prosperous economy is in the midst of a
serious recession. In fact it was just reported that Washington state
faces a budget deficit nearly twice what Gov. Christine Gregoire had
predicted. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that more
money needs to be pumped into our economy to keep our state healthy.

There is one solution, however, that seems to be overlooked. Putting
all the controversy aside, it is a fact that marijuana is currently
America's leading cash crop, with a $35 billion market - more than
corn and wheat combined. It has also been predicted that our state
could receive more than $22 million within the first year of
legalization if the herb is controlled and taxed similarly to our
liquor and tobacco products. This plus the money saved from not
prosecuting dealers and stoners could add a much needed boost back
into our economy.

Obviously this is a debate with valid arguments for both sides.
However, if we were to legalize now is the time.

Ben Keever

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