Why Marijuana should be legalized

Why Marijuana should be legalized


In California, the estimated current cost of implementing laws regulating the use of marijuana, in total and for those 21 and over, and contrast these estimates provided in the available literature. The basic method applied is combining certified figure estimates from law enforcement activities such as arrests, with cost estimates from the available government certified literature. The available estimates are uneven primarily due to the fact that unit costs fail to allow for marijuana specificity or in this case California-specific. However, these estimates imply that overall costs do not exceed 300 million US dollars. These calculations are fall short of the nearly 1billion US dollars in savings that some experts project from the legalization of marijuana in California alone. It is worthy to note that these savings, arising from reduced state spending could be far less than the contemporary law enforcement costs given that freed economic resources are redirected to the enforcement of other anti crime measures other than being rebates offered to the California tax payers.


Law enforcement resources saved as a result of legalizing marijuana may be considerably significant. However it is worthy to note that quantifying such figures is a uphill task. Estimated marijuana law enforcement costs is quite an uphill task due to the fact that enforcement of marijuana legislation is ideally different from the enforcement of laws against other crimes. For instance, a majority of arrests made with regards to marijuana possession are misdemeanors as opposed to being regarded as felonies. The amount of data available in the contemporary literature fails to comprehensively encompass the overall cost associated with such arrests with regard to law enforcement agencies such as the police as well as the subsequent adjudication of such cases. When contemporary circumstances call on state agencies to produce estimates of official figures, such often fall bellow the 1 billion dollar mark for the state of California alone. Based on the available information offered from the Marijuana Policy Project, it is estimated that the economic value relative to criminal justice funds currently consumed in the enforcement of laws prohibiting production of marijuana, its distribution, and subsequent use is very high. Original estimates are around 8 billion dollars annually for the United States alone. Over 5 billion dollars is estimate to being applied in the US states along with local governments. Another 2.5 billion dollars is used up by the US federal government. Recent updates have considerably increased the national approximates from over 7 billion US dollars to nearly 14 billion US dollars with California estimated to be at nearly 2 billion US dollars. However, some scholars agree on a significantly lower sum total around 200 million US dollars for the state of California.

The estimated cost relative marijuana law enforcement in the state of California could be lower, ranging from of nearly 300 US dollars to close to 400 million dollars annually with an estimated average of 250 million US dollars relative to adults. In this paper, possession and or use persons under legal age 21 is not observed. This is due to the fact that applied estimates relative to the cost of law enforcement and subsequent prosecution is considered, other than incarceration. As explained in this paper, such differences arise from the application of overall state expenditures as the estimation approach, while at the same time pro-rating budget allocation by law enforcement agencies with regard to arrests. Figures used in the information used in this paper concerning the case against the legalization of Marijuana also applies costing methodologies that multiply the cost of each arrest made by the projected number of incidences that  of such activities that are associated to marijuana related activities.


It is worthy to note that some of the estimates used in this paper may tend to be higher since estimated cost of marijuana-related law enforcement, judicial proceedings and subsequent imprisonment pro-rate all illegal drug-related imprisonment relative to the ratio of marijuana sale and or production process arrests made by the various law enforcement agencies. However, marijuana law offenders are unlikely to be prosecuted and in some instances the prosecution cases translate to considerably short term prison sentences if and when these are fully prosecuted.  This apparently suggests that a majority of drug-related imprisonment costs accrued are associated to the marijuana related costs.

Concerning the estimates applied in this paper, there are a number of limitations as to their precision. For instance, the applied costs are standard and are basically not marijuana associated or even specific to the US state of California. It is worthy to note that this paper does not make any attempt in speculating as to h

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