Pubdate: Tue, 4 Aug 2009
Source: Gadsden Times, The (AL)
Copyright: 2009 The Gadsden Times
Author: Loretta Nall


Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about legalizing marijuana
and the amount of tax revenue it would generate.

In California, it's estimated that legal marijuana would bring $1.4
billion annually. I crunched the numbers to see how much Alabama might
rake in if we also legalized marijuana. The current number of
marijuana users in Alabama is estimated to be 392,032, or 11.25
percent of the voting-age population (as of 2006). Divide that by the
current number of marijuana consumers in California, which is
estimated at 4,183,136. These numbers are according to the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Census data.
Alabama's 392,032 users is equivalent to 9.3 percent of California's
marijuana-consuming population. Multiply 0.093 times $1.4 billion and
you get $130.2 million. Those figures do not include money that would
be made by putting Alabama farmers back to work, businesses and jobs
created that cater to the marijuana industry, tourism or the hundreds
of millions saved in enforcement costs. Considering that Alabama law
enforcement arrested only 2.6 percent of marijuana consumers -- 10,272
- -- in 2002 at a cost of untold millions of taxpayer dollars, I think it
is safe to say that marijuana prohibition has failed.

It's time Alabama considered legalizing and reaping the benefits of
this untapped green goldmine.

Loretta Nall

Alexander City

Executive Director

Alabamians for Compassionate Care 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake