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Recreational drug use can be traced back to the earliest known humans. The practice is pervasive, problematic and rife with moral and religious opposition. In this country, we need only to look back less than 100 years to see the earliest incantation of this debate. Prohibition: “The Noble Experiment” was instituted from 1920 to 1933. A moral high road, which was believed at the time, would cure all of society’s ills. Economically, it was believed that the taxpayers would benefit by less incarcerations, better mental and physical health and a more productive workforce. I would like to assert that in the context of “drugs”, I am speaking only about marijuana. Legalization of harder substances such as heroin, in my opinion, would not be practical due to their deadly toxicity.
Evidence of current taxes on cigarettes provides the basis for the economic benefits of marijuana legalization. For example, the state of Texas recently raised it tax on cigarettes to $1 per pack. This resulted in net revenue of over 1.5 BILLION dollars. That is quite a chunk of change in today’s economic …