Huffpost Business

4/20: 16 Ways Marijuana Affects The Economy

Posted: Updated:

In honor of 4/20, we had hoped to give you 420 reasons to celebrate. Then we randomly got lazy. So here are, like, 16 reasons instead.

Legalizing marijuana could save the U.S. government $13.7 billion by eliminating prohibition enforcement costs and adding billions in tax revenue, according to a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron that’s gained the support of more than 300 of his economist peers. Proponents have highlighted the potential economic benefits of legalizing marijuana for years, but the growth and legitimization of medical marijuana dispensaries recently could lend the argument more credibility.

Tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries is already giving state and local budgets a much needed boost. Oakland, California, for example, inhaled $1.4 million, or 3 percent of the city's total business tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries last year, The New York Times reports. Meanwhile, the states of Colorado, Maine and Oregon have all pulled in added tax revenue from medical marijuana.

If the experience of marijuana growing supplier weGrow is any indication, the marijuana industry could also be a big job creator. The chain has opened stores in California, Arizona and, most recently, Washington D.C. and with each new store 75 indirect jobs are created, according to AZBusiness Magazine. Meanwhile, Harborside Health Center, the biggest medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, employs 120 people, according to the NYT.

But not everyone is convinced legal marijuna would be such a boon for the economy, namely the federal government. Despite President Obama’s campaign promises to respect state laws concerning medical marijuana, the Department of Justice has recently cracked down. This month, Oaksterdam University, which offers training to medical marijuana growers was raided by federal agents, while the IRS has been targeting medical marijuana businesses since last year.

President Obama said in 2009 “I don't think [legalizing marijuana is] a good strategy to grow our economy” but others seem to disagree.

Here are 16 facts on marijuana and business:

Also on The Huffington Post

16 Facts About Marijuana And The U.S. Economy
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Marijuana rally may go up in smoke as Colorado's flagship university restricts ...

Medical marijuana law no defense for Mich. drivers

Oregon's Kelly questions validity of marijuana report

Dutch marijuana advocates face off with Cabinet

Lions GM says marijuana use won't deter team from drafting good players

Austin to unveil monument to Willie Nelson

Hearing on decriminalizing marijuana draws a crowd

Marijuana Recipes: 'High Times Cannabis Cookbook' Author Gives Edible Weed Advice