Cannabis and California's Economy

United States
March 14, 2009 3:19pm CST
Democratic state assemblyman Tom Ammiano has introduced a bill which (if passed) will lead to the legalization of marijuana. His reasoning being: California's economy is in some serious trouble. Which is a fact that no one can refute. With a record number of layoffs, business closings, and even schools being forced to shut down or attempt to operate on shortened school weeks, it's clear that the state is in dire straits. Ammiano's belief is that the legalization and taxation of marijuana is what California needs to get back on its feet. And he has the figures to back that statement up. By legalizing and regulating it - under the same guidelines as alcohol - at least 1 billion will be saved in the court systems a year. One billion is a very, very large number. With taxation, it's estimated that the state will gain a boom over well over 14 million dollars in taxes alone. Much needed jobs will be created. Even the Attorney General has come out to say that marijuana legalization and handling should be done state by state, not federally, and has ordered federal raids of medical dispensaries to cease. It has been proven that marijuana does less damage to brain cells and the body than alcohol, or even nicotine. Both of which are legalized, regulated substances. With America's economy in serious trouble, California may well be paving the way for the rest of the country. Regardless of personal moral feelings regarding marijuana, we can't ignore the fact that it is America's largest cash crop, and that those dollars would be better off circulating through the community and supporting the government through taxes than where they go now. So this is my question: is it alright to ignore something that could help get America out of a recession and provide millions of jobs, just because of moral issues regarding mildly mind altering substances?
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