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Now that's yeah.
Legalization of marijuana how much money it would potentially -- -- next guest says the total benefit of legal part is as much as twenty billion dollars a year.
That would come in through tax revenue coming in there.
And not so much money going out in the form of spending on law enforcement.
Jeffrey Miron -- from the Cato Institute brought does that nobody joins us now -- welcome back good to see you again.
Twenty billion dollars it seems like a low number because.
You know if you're not -- -- -- law enforcement and all those people in prison because of we eat -- offenses and -- taxing marijuana when it sold legally.
Seems like twenty billion solo number just before.
Well first of all.
Over the past several decades marijuana has become -- lower and lower priority for law enforcement so absolutely we're still making lots of -- for marijuana and some incarcerations.
But not to nearly extent that we did 101520 years ago the emphasis has shifted to other drugs.
Secondly although marijuana certainly the most widely used currently illegal drug it's still only about five or 6% of the population that says that he uses marijuana.
So it's one product of many many many products to take.
Eyes related example alcohol is of course a big industry.
It brings in about 25 billion -- here today in tax revenues but that's based on fifty to 60% of the population using alcohol.
So what my numbers may be too low but I think they're roughly in the right ballpark okay well I think that but look.
Do you think that twenty billion dollars a year in benefits of a component like that.
Does that justify.
Making marijuana legal nationwide.
Well I think that really depends on whom were asking for people who are strongly opposed to think that marijuana use is immoral or think it causes horrible -- Halifax who think it's a gateway drug or whatever.
For them I don't think the twenty billion dollars is gonna convince them at all just as we spend lots of money on national defense but that doesn't mean national defense not a good idea.
On the other hand for people who think that marijuana is relatively -- they don't think the -- evidence is very consistent.
The people should be left to do what they want to do so long as they're not harming others.
For them there lots of good arguments for legalizing even without the twenty billion that's -- -- million is really just icing on the cake could.
It wants tax.
Counts of -- sold legally did you put into your equation.
And -- actually computer in quite that way but it would work out to something like fifty to a hundred dollars per ounce.
Market prices now marijuana vary a lot -- Typically maybe in the three to 400 dollar range so.
That's a tax rate which is higher than on say normal sales good not normal goods as part of sale taxes.
But not so high is to drive the market back underground.
Just because -- tax position.
Would you expect the price generally to the public to go down if it will fully legalized all across the country.
I think it will probably go -- on and my estimates assume a fairly substantial reduction.
The same time I think we are very close to -- the fact illegal market.
-- in many parts of the country and we can look at data from places where it's even closer illegal like benevolence -- Portugal.
And the differences in prices are pretty small so -- expect some decline but not a dramatic decline I think you may want to revisit those figures on got a suspicion that that number and that's I think it.
I think it would go up that's just a thing in golf -- it.
-- Jeffrey Miron thank you very much indeed for joining us from the Cato Institute we -- we're gonna study on this because.
Looks to me like it's gonna be illegal -- I wanna how much money is involved thank you -- they'll go.
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