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Thread: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    What study or studies would you recommend we examine to determine the actual cost/benefit of marijuana legalization, either in California or nationwide?
    It is hard to collect accurate data, because of the very nature of having concrete numbers on a unregulated unknown commodity.

    Here is a good attempt at a cost benefit courtesy of Jeffrey Miron, Professor of Economics at Harvard. It also carries the endorsement of 500+ other Economists:

    Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis

    I still cannot find the data on the MPP study (pretty sure it was theirs) which is used for the AB 390 estimates of 1.3 billion in rev. for CA, and also estimates Ca's expenditures. I really should have bookmarked that.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
    What studies would you recommend we examine that identify the benefits and ROI of the war on drugs? What studies would you recommend we examine that show legalizing marijuana would result in a negative impact upon California or nationwide?
    I never argued that the war on drugs was cost-effective, or that marijuana would have a negative impact on CA or nationwide. So I didn't place myself in a position to have to provide any such studies.

    On the other hand, EgoffTib clearly stated his opinion that legalization would aid the economy, as quoted here:

    Quote Originally Posted by EgoffTib View Post
    If you think that legalizing weed(therefore creating revenue) will do nothing to aid the economy, then there is no point in continuing this discussion.
    So I'm asking him to support that assertion with some numbers, based on what the professionals who've looked at this consider reasonable.


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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    It is hard to collect accurate data, because of the very nature of having concrete numbers on a unregulated unknown commodity.

    Here is a good attempt at a cost benefit courtesy of Jeffrey Miron, Professor of Economics at Harvard. It also carries the endorsement of 500+ other Economists:

    Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis

    I still cannot find the data on the MPP study (pretty sure it was theirs) which is used for the AB 390 estimates of 1.3 billion in rev. for CA, and also estimates Ca's expenditures. I really should have bookmarked that.
    As I read Miron's report, California might expect to see a tax revenue of somewhere between $95M and $105M annually (2005 dollars.) Those figures are reflected in Tables 4a and 4b in your link. My assumption reading Miron's report is that marijuana would be legalized nationally, as he provides estimates on a state-by-state basis as well as for federal revenues.
    Last edited by Grateful Heart; 03-31-09 at 09:59 PM.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    those tables are under the assumption that marijuana is taxed as other goods, not taxed as alcohol or cigs.

    Table 4a indicates the tax revenue that would accrue to each state and to the federal government under the assumption that each state collected revenue equal to 10%...
    ...This is approximately what occurs now for the economy overall
    both tables 4a, and 4b are numbers generated if Marijuana were taxed like all other goods. your estimates need to be multiplied by ~2.6 if taxed like alcohol and tobacco.

    marijuana legalization would generate tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco.
    Regardless this data cannot be extrapolated to reflect revenue from California's AB 390 since the tax rate is not comparable to goods, nor to alcohol or tobacco, but instead significantly higher. I don;t mind a high taxation rate, CA's seems modest to me, and even at this rate it is still easy to undercut black market prices and put them out of business due to lack of profitability, or a competitive product.

    Massachusetts is a lot steeper on their proposed taxation rates, I think they are pushing it.

    regardless, it is a product that can support a heavy taxation, and as with all drugs I think they should be legal, and heavily taxed so that retail prices are somewhat but not substantially below black market prices, yet with a far superior quality. The lower cost/better quality balance is the key to driving the black market (esp. foreign) out of business. As we know with both tobacco and alcohol, although relatively insignificant.. there will be a domestic black market, but one that can be managed.

    edit: I forgot to mention I do not put much heed in Miron's report, as there are a lot of assumptions made as illustrated above with the goods taxation v. alc/tob taxation v. sustainable cannabis taxation. He attempts to fill in a lot of holes in the data, and makes a ton of assumptions. But it gives some numbers to work with as an estimate, and even these.. which are low-ball numbers are significant.
    Last edited by marduc; 03-31-09 at 10:28 PM.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post
    edit: I forgot to mention I do not put much heed in Miron's report, as there are a lot of assumptions made as illustrated above with the goods taxation v. alc/tob taxation v. sustainable cannabis taxation. He attempts to fill in a lot of holes in the data, and makes a ton of assumptions. But it gives some numbers to work with as an estimate, and even these.. which are low-ball numbers are significant.
    As I expressed to you by PM, one of my major concerns is that decriminalization/legalization should be addressed on a nationwide level. The repeal of alcohol prohibition came from the federal level. By the time Roosevelt promised repeal in 1932, 46 states already supported it, along with 75% of the population. (Link) It seems like we're doing it backwards this time around. Marijuana decriminalization is not supported by the majority of the population. And I suspect some jurisdictions would fight it vigorously. Which is why I've raised questions in previous posts about drug tourism, as well as the costs of enforcement.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    I agree with you that it should be on a national level; however the reality is is that people in Washington will not risk what they view as political suicide to make this happen (As evidenced by Obama in his Town Hall). The only recourse to ultimately have it occur nationally is to make inroads via state legislation in places where it is favorable, and use these as experimental pilot programs.

    National legalization is the way to go, but as a nation we are not ready for it.. the propaganda dies slowly for some, but the opposition is dying.. literally. Once inroads are made in a few states (there is widespread regional support in the east and the west coast) and opinions sway then we can address truly reforming the issue, and actually putting the gangs, cartels, and violence to rest for good.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    A love that a few higher up in Washington DC all the way across the country can decide for the great people of Washington State. We have been rooting for democracy to fail since we gave DC so much control over our lives.

    What makes it alright that a few men in a small city across the country can better decide for what is better in my life than I myself.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grateful Heart View Post
    On the other hand, EgoffTib clearly stated his opinion that legalization would aid the economy, as quoted here:
    So I'm asking him to support that assertion with some numbers, based on what the professionals who've looked at this consider reasonable.

    Taxes create revenue. If you legalize it, you can tax it. This is economics 101. Studies of the effect of Marijuana on a state's economic status have not been performed due to weed being illegal.
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." - Gandhi

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    The list of wasteful spending is long, where to start? But this begs the quesiton, do you really think there are none?
    no, that's not the question, the question was, what are some of those wasteful programs. Simply saying that the list is long and then redirecting the question looks like obfuscation.

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    Re: Can Marijuana Help Rescue California's Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    Legalizing will do NOTHING to stem the red ink in this state. The point being that the State is run by Liberal Democrats who find a way to spend well beyond their means REGARDLESS of the sources of revenue any more than the lottery or Indian Gaming taxes.
    Do you have anything to back up this assertion, other than your opinion? Like I said, I think the majority of CA's problems are because of the lack of revenue due to a downturn in the economy.

    The lottery was once going to be the panacea to education funding; that was a lie.
    No it wasn't a lie and it worked like a charm.

    Indian gaming revenues and taxes would bring in the necessary revenue to fill the gap between revenues and spending; that was a lie.
    No it wasn't a lie and it worked like a charm.

    It is like alcoholism or drug addiction; you don't solve their addictions by giving them MORE; you end it with COLD turkey and stark REALITY. The citizens are done with the games the chicanery, being taxed to death and the excuses. It is time to exercise responsible control and manage within their means or find themselves kicked out of office.
    That's nothing but partisan bloviating.

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