Could legalizing pot in California save the state's ailing budget? AdAge today posted an interesting ad from a non-profit organization called the Marijuana Policy Project Foundation.
The ad's basic claim is that California's budget woes could be cured cured by tax revenue that would be gained from legalizing pot. There's no touting of pot's psychedelic benefits. Instead the ad focuses directly on the fiscal benefits of repealing a ban on weed:
"We're marijuana consumers, instead of being treated like criminals for using a substance safer than alcohol, we want to pay our fair share.
Taxes from marijuana, the ad claims, could pay the salaries of 20,000 teachers. A quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that for MPP's teacher figure to be right, marijuana would need to bring in some $1.15 billion in tax revenue.
While $1 billion in revenue would be welcome news for most Californians, its a drop in the bucket -- California's faces a $24.3 billion budget deficit.