Missouri: Regulating Cannabis In State Would Produce $149 Million Annually In Savings And Revenue

Boston, MA: Legalizing and  regulating the production and distribution of cannabis in Missouri for adults  would produce $149 million annually in combined statewide savings and revenue,  according to an economic analysispublished Wednesday. The white paper, entitled “The Budgetary  Implications of Legalizing Marijuana in Missouri,” is co-authored by Harvard  University economist Jeffrey Miron and was commissioned by the National  Cannabis Coalition.

The  report estimates  that legalizing cannabis in Missouri would save about $90 million in government  expenditure and yield some $59 million in new tax revenue annually. The report’s  calculations are based on the assumption that cannabis would be taxed at rates  comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco and that all other states and the  federal government would also enact similar regulatory policies.

Stated  Miron in a press release: “The  savings to Missouri’s state and local governments from marijuana legalization  consists of three main components: the reduction in expenditures by police from  eliminating marijuana-related arrests; the reduction in spending on prosecution  and judicial resources; and the reduction in spending on jails and prisons as  well as probation and parole. … [M]arijuana  legalization would allow taxation of commerce in production and sale of  marijuana which are currently tax free.”

Miron has previously estimated that  regulating cannabis nationwide would yield an estimated $17.4 billion dollars  annually in cost savings and new tax revenue.

Full  text of the report is available online from the National Cannabis Coalition  here: http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com/2012/10/legalizing-marijuana-missouri-budgetary-implications-blog/.

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