The CBO's warning about our dire fiscal future is real. In the CBO report, if the Bush Era Tax Cuts are allowed to expire and the $100 Billion in automatic spending cuts go into effect, then the economy will face a recession in the first half of 2013. According to the projections, the economy will shrink 1.3% however in the second half of the year they estimate a growth of 2.3%, this is of course dependent on congress doing nothing. Congress will likely act in some way, hopefully we will see the Buffett Rule come into being and some fairer tax rates, especially for the top 1% who have seen their income soar while ours dwindle.
But What if congress takes a Radical Measure to eliminate the debt and truly reduce spending... What Radical Measure would have that effect?
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." - Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President quote on Hemp
Yes!! Legalizing Marijuana today would have a nearly instantaneous effect on the economy, a positive effect!
See: Politics of Pot and Legalizing Marijuana
If we Decriminalize Marijuana and make it legal to sell in the same way we sell Alcohol and Cigarettes, we could tax the drug, add hundreds of thousands legal jobs to the economy, and would incur no additional enforcement costs. Enforcement would be added to the ATF's responsibilities, the DEA would be able to concentrate on real drugs instead of a weed, and we could bring down our incarceration rate.
Did you know:
- 1 in 100 Adults in the US are behind bars?
- The average cost to house an inmate is $47000 per year
- We spend over $5 Billion a year to house inmates in federal prisons for drug crimes, mostly marijuana,
- Last year, police arrested 847,864 persons for marijuana violations, almost 90 percent of them for possession only.
Approximate number of people incarcerated for drug related crimes:
Let's expand a bit by putting it into perspective, and that means understanding how many total people are incarcerated for all crimes:
- 108,000 people in federal prisons as of April 2010
- 280,000 people in state prisons across the country as of June 2007
- 31,500 people in California state prisons as of December 2008
So that means around half of all inmates in federal prisons are there for drugs, around 20% of inmates nationwide in state prisons are there for drugs and around 18% of inmates in California state prisons are there for drugs.
- 211,455 inmates at federal prisons as of April 2010
- 1,395,916 inmates in state prisons as of June 2007
- 171,161 inmates in California as of December 2008
"When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point."
- Barack Obama, U.S. President quote on Marijuana
How legalizing weed can help the economy.
What do Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia have in common? Their biggest cash crop—generating far more revenue than wine in the Napa Valley, tobacco in North Carolina, or pineapples in Hawaii—is marijuana. When a product gains that kind of economic foothold it’s time to take stock.
Not only is cannabis the biggest cash crop in those 12 states, it’s in the top three in 30 states, the top five in 39. In fact, marijuana is the greatest revenue producer of all agricultural products grown in the U.S. With production values of roughly $36 billion annually, the cultivation of marijuana is permanently entrenched within and integrally connected to the U.S. economy.
And it’s illegal.
If legalization happens, we be able to stop sending people to jail for Marijuana crimes except for those who sell to minors. This will Save Billions and we can spend this money on better things, Like infrastructure or eliminating the deficit.
If we follow the model set in place for tobacco and Alcohol, pharmacies could be used to sell Marijuana cigarettes and we could have Hash Bars. Sin Taxes will be paid on the products sold and people will now have to pay income taxes because they will be selling it in a legitimate fashion.
If Marijuana is legal to sell, people will be hired to sell it.
Social clubs revolving around Marijuana will need people baking, rolling, and serving.
Companies that form to make Marijuana cigarettes will hire people to make them.
Farms that are now growing will hire people to harvest the plants.
Logistics, people will need to get the Products from Point A to Point B.
That's not to mention the jobs that will form due to the spending from those new spots
How Legalization will reduce crime.See: Legalization Will Reduce Crime, Free Up Police Resources
Eliminate gang revenue:
If you no longer have to go to the guy on the corner who can shoot you if the deal goes bad, would you stop? YES!
If we have a legal way to buy Marijuana, gangs will cease to have that revenue stream, in fact, they may have to get legitimate jobs in order to make a living. You know, a job where they too will have to pay there share of taxes.
With Gangs no longer having weed as an income source and many member getting jobs, they will be too busy to commit crimes. as a matter of fact, given that they simply will be unable to sell weed like they used to, crime will go down dramatically
Better use of Police Resources:
With marijuana enforcement off the table, police will be able to concentrate on real crimes; crimes like Rape, Domestic Violence, Burglary, and Destruction of Property.
WHAT ABOUT OUR LIBERTY!!! Weed is our RIGHT!With 100 million Americans having used pot at least once, including the president, his two immediate predecessors, the mayor of New York and countless other luminaries from all walks of life, and with an estimated 25 million regular users, marijuana consumption is a deeply ingrained pattern of American culture.
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."- Albert Einstein quote on Hemp
The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! - Patrick Henry During the Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775