Marijuana might make a smoker mellow, but one lawmaker hopes it will stimulate the economy. California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana with the intention of creating $1 billion in tax revenue and thousands of green jobs.
The San Francisco Chronicle broke down the specifics last week. The law would allow people over 21 years old to grow, buy, sell, and possess cannabis. There would be a $50-an-ounce tax on retail sales. A report shows that it would drop the price by 50 percent and increase consumption by 40 percent. There would most likely be a drop in prison population, thus saving the state money, too.
In an interview with Salon, Ammiano explained why he wants to legalize it: it's the economy, stupid. He said:
There's gold in them thar hills! We have one of the worst budget situations we've ever had, and it's a $14 billion industry that's not going away. Everybody knows this and nobody has wanted to go after it. I, frankly, think the time has come.
Do you think economic benefits make legalization of marijuana a good idea?