The University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) released a study analyzing the potential economic benefits of legalizing and taxing marijuana. The researchers, led by BBER Director Dr. Patrick Barkey, project that Montana will generate $236 million in new revenue from marijuana sales by 2026. Click here to read the full report.
The study anticipates a significant boost will come from tourists visiting Montana, with the new marijuana revenue supporting many important programs and services for Montanans. This chart shows the breakdown:
As Montana confronts the economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue is among the top reasons Montanans should support legalizing and regulating marijuana.
Be sure to share this report with friends, family, and anyone who is on the fence about CI-118 and I-190!
We wanted to share with you a study performed by Professor Fred Cartensen, Director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), and commissioned by MPP with the goal of better understanding the potential economic effects of cannabis legalization in Connecticut. The estimates are conservative and provide insight into the financial possibilities that lie ahead once Connecticut begins to regulate and tax cannabis like other states in the region and throughout the country.
The study projects Connecticut could generate:
$692 to $740 million in total direct state tax revenue over five years of sales;
$35 to $53 million in direct state cannabis tax revenue in the first year of sales;
$223 to $287 million in direct state cannabis tax revenue in year five of sales;
$71 million in municipal tax revenue over five years of sales;
$21 million in municipal tax revenue in year five of sales;
10,244 to 17,462 new or preserved jobs by year five of legal sales; and
5,344 to 5,686 new or preserved jobs in year one of sales alone.
In summary, legalizing and regulating cannabis would lessen the economic pain wrought by COVID-19 by creating and preserving thousands of jobs and generating hundreds of millions in new tax revenue. A related article ran in today’s Hartford Courant, and we expect a flurry of additional coverage, including Prof. Cartensen being a guest on NBC’s Face the State this Sunday.
Three out of five Rhode Islanders agree that it’s time to legalize marijuana for adult use. The conversation that should be taking place among state policymakers is not if Rhode Island should legalize and regulate marijuana. They should be discussing how it will be done.
Yesterday, we published a comprehensive new report addressing the best way for Rhode Island to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. We are sharing this document with lawmakers in an effort to accelerate the process and move us closer to enacting real policy.
Although three New England states have already ended marijuana prohibition, Rhode Island’s state legislature continues to delay serious consideration of legalization. Unfortunately, lawmakers are now thinking about extending the legalization study commission established last year, which will only delay progress. However, another bill has been introduced which would put the issue to the voters.
In a recently released report titled “Ending the Drug Wars,” five previous winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics have endorsed the London School of Economics' IDEAS center’s findings. The report looked at “the high costs and unintended consequences of drug prohibitions on public health and safety, national security and law enforcement,” according to the Huffington Post.
"The pursuit of a militarized and enforcement-led global ‘war on drugs’ strategy has produced enormous negative outcomes and collateral damage," says the 82-page report. "These include mass incarceration in the US, highly repressive policies in Asia, vast corruption and political destabilization in Afghanistan and West Africa, immense violence in Latin America…and the propagation of systematic human rights abuses around the world."
In short, the report implores world leaders to rework their drug policies to center on treatment and harm reduction rather than prosecution and prison sentencing.
Later on in the report, it calls on the United Nations General Assembly to look beyond its one-size-fits-all approach to drug policy during its special session coming in 2016.
"The UN must recognize its role is to assist states as they pursue best-practice policies based on scientific evidence, not undermine or counteract them," said Danny Quah, a contributor to the report. "If this alignment occurs, a new and effective international regime can emerge that effectively tackles the global drug problem."
Nobel Prize Winners in Economics:
Kenneth Arrow (1972)
Sir Christopher Pissarides (2010)
Thomas Schelling (2005)
Vernon Smith (2002)
Oliver Williamson (2009)
The National Lawyers Guild, a public interest and human rights bar organization, released a report on June 25 highlighting the failures of marijuana prohibition and suggesting strategies for legalization initiatives.
The report, “High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives,” recommends both alternative policies for the U.S. government to pursue and strategies for drug-reform advocates to employ. The key recommendations are: reframe drug use as a social and public health issue; revisit international drug treaties; reclassify marijuana from its status as a Schedule I substance; support the right of states to legalize marijuana for adult use without federal interference; end civil asset forfeiture by law enforcement; and connect legalization efforts to the abolition of the for-profit prison industry.
“Marijuana legalization will create new jobs, generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes,” said Brian Vicente, an NLG member and one of the primary authors of Colorado’s legalization amendment. “It would be a travesty if the Obama administration used its power to impose marijuana prohibition upon a state whose people have declared, through the democratic process, that they want it to end.”