Reader: If pot had been legalized years ago, there'd be no national debt

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Our post about a Denver City Council proclamation calling on a federal banking fix for marijuana businesses noted an industry estimate of more than $5 million in recreational pot sales in the first five days such transactions were legal. This figure got one of our readers thinking about an old school assignment....

Deann Finch Mikelson writes:

With tax revenue like this my prediction is that ALL other states will follow suit eventually. I actually did a report on this in high school, many moons ago, and by my calculations back then we could have wiped out the national deficit in 12 years.....

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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28 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Stupid Stoners + Economics = FAIL!


.

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

Politicians would have long spent any new revenue coming in.

John Pinnick
John Pinnick

This is exactly right and why the US will legalize soon enough.

John Pinnick
John Pinnick

We are going to be financially fine in the future. The U.S. will be realizing the money to be made. Could be the number one export in five years. We could actually have something the other countries want again, besides just moving here and taking all the good out of it.

Cooper Watts
Cooper Watts

The calculations are over simplified, but the writer raises an interesting quandary. After we have a year of figures that are accurately reported, meaning banks play ball, then we can extrapolate a better estimate of what could have been.

Michael Cano
Michael Cano

How much will we save just from not jailing pot smokers? Alone?

Aaron Betcher
Aaron Betcher

if we didn't have a war on a credit card we wouldn't have a national debt then we could pay for crazy things like education. wow what a concept.

WillieStortz
WillieStortz

Just when you thought stoners couldn't get any dumber; along comes Deann Finch Mikelson to prove us wrong,



-"I actually did a report on this in high school,"

This is my favorite line. 

 

Mitch Siff
Mitch Siff

Take the Iraq "occupation" out of the equation...

Channing Henson
Channing Henson

Current national debt is 17 trillion dollars. Projected legal marijuana market is $46 billion per year (thanks Google). Now I'm no economist, but I do own a calculator and this reader might want to lay off the dabs...

Lucas Jeffery
Lucas Jeffery

Giving a person or organization more money doesn't mean they'll become better at managing money. We would still be in the same situation.

Killy Killz
Killy Killz

Take into account the trillions of dollars in weed money that went to Mexico and South America.

Killy Killz
Killy Killz

I already added this up instantaneously years ago....

Dev Adams
Dev Adams

I think the problem with it is Murphy's second law: you will expand into the space you are given. With more tax revenues, the government would have spent more. However, I do believe legalization of cannibis is essential to our national fiscal health, both because of tax revenues and keeping a huge number of nonviolent "offenders" out of prision. Oh, and hemp is an extraordinary plant that could help solve many other issues (deforestation, soil exhaustion, energy needs, etc).

Rich Carollo
Rich Carollo

It's a nice theory, however as Diddy sang Mo' Money, Mo' Problems. Do you really think they wouldn't have found ways to spend it all other than to reduce the debt?

Scott Michaud
Scott Michaud

Keep in mind that Prohibition only ended because the Federal government needed the revenue from alcohol sales to balance the budget...

Niles Clark
Niles Clark

cheers, & i dont smoke,,,so lets tax "those guys" bahaha :)

Wayne Poirier
Wayne Poirier

You cant pay off a Debt with a DEBT based economy. The debt is always higher than the Money supply.

Lance Cayko
Lance Cayko

I think he doesn't understand the concept of "Fiat" currency... there is ALWAYS debt with monopoly money...

Robert Barnhart
Robert Barnhart

He didn't take into the account of not arresting non-violent cannabis smokers and paying police, prosecutors, probation officers, corrections officers, and judges to handle the cases. Let's not forget tourist money and the industry's that will be built around cannabis and hemp. BILLIONS for each industry! I think we could pay off the debt sooner if all money went straight to the debt obligation.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cooper Watts ... after more than 2 years of Marijuana Dispensaries in Colorado, the sales tax revenue collected for pot was LESS than 1/2 of 1% of total sales tax revenue overall.


1/2 of 1%.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Michael Cano ... Colorado stopped jailing people for simple possession DECADES ago.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Robert Barnhart  ... Colorado "decriminalized" simple possession -- no arrest -- DECADES ago.



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