500 Economists Say “Legalize Pot!”

Posted June 2nd, 2005 by AlphaPatriot and filed in War on Drugs

From Forbes:

A founding father of the Reagan Revolution has put his John Hancock on a pro-pot report.

Milton Friedman leads a list of more than 500 economists from around the U.S. who today will publicly endorse a Harvard University economist’s report on the costs of marijuana prohibition and the potential revenue gains from the U.S. government instead legalizing it and taxing its sale. Ending prohibition enforcement would save $7.7 billion in combined state and federal spending, the report says, while taxation would yield up to $6.2 billion a year.

The report, “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition,” (available at www.prohibitioncosts.org) was written by Jeffrey A. Miron, a professor at Harvard , and largely paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a Washington, D.C., group advocating the review and liberalization of marijuana laws. …

“There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana,” the economist says, “$7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven’t even included the harm to young people. It’s absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes.”

I wrote a term paper for an Econ II class decades ago that said the same thing. I got an A.

But does anyone think that this will really change anything?

The report will likely not sway all minds. The White House Office of Drug Control Policy recently published an analysis of marijuana incarceration that states that “most people in prison for marijuana are violent criminals, repeat offenders, traffickers or all of the above.”

I doubt that this will even set off any serious debate given the mindset of those driving the War on Drugs, but it should. Check out the War on Drugs Clock. It currently shows that over $21 billion has been spent so far this year and that over 300,000 people have been arrested on marijuana-related charges.

Hmmm . . . my opposition to the larger War on Drugs must be related to the fact that I’m a Neolibertarian and not a Republican. After all, Cato is against it.

6 Responses to “500 Economists Say “Legalize Pot!””

  1. Glen Dean says:

    Great post. The war on drugs has been about as successful as the war on poverty. Just like poverty won the war on poverty, drugs won the war on drugs.

  2. Legalizing Marijuana Would Show A $13.9 Billion A Year Gain

    A Harvard University economist report out shows that there would be a savings of $7.7 billion in federal and state spending and a net income of $6.2 billion in revenue if Marijuana was legalized. Over 500 economists worldwide have publicly…

  3. Legalizing Pot Would Net $13.9 Billion

    Legalizing marijuana and taxing it would net the government $13.9 billion. $7.7 billion would be saved by ending enforcement of marijuana laws, and $6.2 billion would be gained by taxing the non-toxic herb.

  4. IO ERROR says:

    Milton Friedman and 500 economists agree: Legalize marijuana

    From Forbes comes the story of a report on the costs of marijuana prohibition.
    Dr. Jeffrey Miron, visiting professor of economics at Harvard University, estimates that replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar t…

  5. Say Anything says:

    A Good Reason For Legalizing Pot

  6. Teaa Ardry says:

    Weed aint the problem its the people man its the chioces they make not the weed they smoke. I know many real good people who take life more seriously when there high then they do When there sober. The alcahol is way worse then weed make it legal and get some profit. Hey and this is comming from a person that don’t even smoke weed.