Pot legalization would fix Michigan economy

Legalizing marijuana in Michigan would help the state economy and citizens. A group of Michigan citizens hope to accomplish this by gathering enough signatures to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the 2012 voting ballot.

When a product that consumers want in large quantities is made illegal, the product will be sold in black markets regardless of legality. Whether or not the product is harmful, the product will go untaxed by the government, resulting in the loss of potential tax revenue. Marijuana is no different.

The U.S. is estimated to lose more than $1 billion annually in tax revenues because of marijuana prohibition, according to www.slate.com. According to CNN figures, Michigan loses approximately $32 million each year in lost tax revenues for the same reason. This lost tax revenue could be spent on things Michigan citizens need, like schools, bridges and health care.

Michigan spends about $35,000 per prisoner annually to hold them in prison. With five percent of Michigan inmates behind bars for marijuana charges, Michigan taxpayers pay around $85 million per year to keep marijuana users off the street.

Not only does Michigan lose money in lost tax revenues from marijuana prohibition, Michigan also loses money by using taxpayer funds to keep many non-violent marijuana users off the streets. Legalizing marijuana in Michigan would reverse the negative economic effects associated with criminalizing marijuana.

Michigan could tax marijuana, adding $32 million in new state revenue that could be spent on the dire needs of Michigan citizens. Michigan would also save $85 million associated with locking up marijuana users in Michigan. This is a total of $117 million in new state revenue that didn’t exist under marijuana prohibition.

Critics of marijuana legalization efforts say marijuana is bad for a person’s health and for that reason alone and should remain illegal. This hasn’t been proven conclusively.

Marijuana’s main component, THC, has been found to inhibit the cell growth of various tumors in rats. Even more recently, a University of California-San Francisco study found that marijuana smokers didn’t have the same reduced lung function that occurs in tobacco smokers.

Whether you smoke pot or not, marijuana legalization will bring money into the state’s treasury and also let marijuana users contribute to society by paying taxes instead of being thrown into prison.

If Michigan wants to start fixing its struggling economy, legalizing would be a first large step in the right direction.

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9 Comments

  • Common Sense Police
    February 9, 2012 | Permalink |

    http://www.leap.cc See what the honest cops have to say about prohibition. If you’re a cop make sure not to mention L.E.A.P. to any of your co-workers, you’d likely get fired like this was some fascist country. Though if you are a cop you should really check it out. There are a lot of unemployed veterans out there trained to kill and I don’t know any vets that don’t own firearms. I read about the tragedy of 5 cops being shot in Utah because the broke down the door of a sleeping, armed vet who grew a couple of harmless plants in his basement though. Luckily only one officer died but thats a widow and two more little girls without a father you can add to the side effects of prohibition.

  • denbee
    February 9, 2012 | Permalink |

    Our police have so tarnished their reputations and stature in our communities because of the drug laws and resulting witch hunts. Breaking into our homes and searching for marijuana has not made alot of friends for our boys and girls in blue. But it sure has lined their pockets. The people who squeal the loudest about legalizing pot are almost all police. They don’t want to lose their jobs! Marijuana concerns the DEA to the tune of about 70% of what they do. Very safe busting a pot user you big brave narco cop, isn’t it?! You won’t find them fighting the drug cartels in the field, not these narco cops! Easier to bust the users, they never resist! Legalize marijuna and lay off 70% of the DEA, save about 8 billion dollars a year. Lay off the bloated police forces all aross America. Take away their armoured personal carriers, their assault vehicles, their m16’s and prevent them from entering our homes, or medicine cabinets and our gardens ever again! Maybe then we can begin to restore faith and credibility to our police forces. As it is now I find it hard to even be in the same room as a police person, my loathing bubbles over.

  • Ron
    February 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    I think LEAP is great I feel more police should step p and say enough is enough. Quit clogging the courts with this petty stuff!!

  • February 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    Why should marijuana smokers subsidize Michigan’s out-of-control government?

    If marijuana isn’t legalized soon, the knowledge of jury nullification is going to be so widespread that the government will have wished they never made marijuana illegal.

    In 1895 (Sparf v U.S. 156 U.S. 51, 1895), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that although juries have the right to ignore a judge’s instructions on the law, the jury should not be aware of it.

    Well guess what? More people than ever are aware of it and you can credit it to the war on marijuana.

  • February 10, 2012 | Permalink |

    You guys missed the big score for the economy. Full legalization will unfetter economic development. Families will have new options for keeping the farm. We can create industries based on renewable hemp, which is a source of fiber for ropes and clothing, food (seeds), the nutrient GLA, the anti-inflammatory drug CBD, and we can use hemp to feed a new old-fashioned chemical industry, as well. Jobs will be created for people who work in many different fields, and then those workers will spend lots of money back into their local economy.

    In time, all of that development will take people off of state services and generate lots of taxes to ease the state’s budgetary woes.

  • Rev.Steven B.Thompson
    February 11, 2012 | Permalink |

    Folks, I am 64 years old now, became a Christian in 1978, became a minister in 1984, and have been branded a criminal for 46 years now because I CHOOSE to grow & use God-created Cannabis instead of doing man-made, poisonous drugs (legal or otherwise). I am not alone..we are a LARGE counter-culture of folks all over the world who CHOOSE the natural route over the synthetic one. We DO NOT manufacture a drug…we GROW a simple, seed-bearing, herbal PLANT! We dearly love our families & communities, work hard, believe in shopping local & recycling, grow organic, and contribute to society.Now I ask you, honestly, how are we hurting anyone with the choice of our lifestyle? I ask you, honestly, what gives ANYONE the right to make us live a different lifestyle, or THEIR’S? We DO NOT force ANYONE to live our’s! We have been jailed, our children & possessions taken away from us, and even killed for OUR choice of lifestyle! So I am humbly pleading with ALL who read this to help RIGHT a WRONG that has been going on for over 70 years now in our country! Help us get the signatures that we need to qualify for the state ballot to end prohibition for ALL adults 21 & over, and then vote YES for OUR God-given rights this November. Go to http://www.repealtoday.org and don’t forget to click the “LIKE” button on the right-hand side of the page. Our signature drive started this month and we have till July 9th to collect 500,000 sigs. Let’s make our great state of Michigan the shining light on the hill and the leader of our great nation once again…let’s make history once again! Obviously, we are not going to get any help from our current legislators. OUR FUTURE IS NOW IN OUR HANDS, SO WHAT WILL WE DO WITH IT?

    Rev.Steven B.Thompson,Chapter Director
    Benzie County NORML
    http://www.minorml.org
    (Former Executive Director of Michigan NORML
    from May,2007 to November,2011)

    Help end Cannabis Prohibition at http://www.repealtoday.org

    WE DO NOT MANUFACTURE A DRUG…WE GROW A PLANT!!

  • Bob
    February 11, 2012 | Permalink |

    Absolutely ludicrous mentioning how a lone military veteran shot five policemen. Most military veterans have the utmost respect for law enforcement. Thousand of law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty and most of the people pulling the trigger on them were NOT
    military veterans. Some military veterans may be sympathetic to the cause of marijuana, but 99.9% would not kill law enforcement over it.

  • Casey Jones
    February 12, 2012 | Permalink |

    Thank you to the media for FINALLY putting out an article that looks at our side of the situation! A very true article I must add!

  • david
    March 17, 2012 | Permalink |

    Rev. Steve,

    First let me state for the record that I am all for the legalization of drugs, most specifically, marijuana. Your argument for the legalization seems to stem in large part because marijuana, cannabis, is “God-created”. But the truth is that what you, and MOST smokers of the weed, are actually smoking is as far removed from the original “God-created Cannabis” as the fermented alcohol (a natural process by the way) is from the grape. Through YEARS of cross breeding, genetic manipulation, and chemical enhancement, the strains of marijuana that most people are smoking are truely “man-made” plants. They simply do not exist in nature.

    If you want to smoke scientifically enhanced grass, then you should not be using faith based reasoning in your argument. Despite what you may think, God did not create Maui Wowie, or California Sensimilla.

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