Cannabis prohibition entails direct enforcement costs — including police, prosecutorial, judicial, and correctional resources — and prevents the taxation of cannabis production and sale.
Cannabis legalization, on the other hand, offers tremendous financial benefits for state governments, and cannabis tax revenues can be allocated for social services and programs — funding education, school construction, early literacy, public libraries, bullying prevention, behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment, veterans’ services, conservation, job training, conviction expungement expenses, and reinvestment in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on cannabis, among many others.
By establishing regulated adult-use cannabis markets, state and local governments are able to tax cannabis sales and benefit economically by creating thousands of new jobs. In states with taxed and regulated cannabis markets, overall sales and tax revenue have quickly exceeded initial estimates.
Learn more about the economic impacts of cannabis prohibition and legalization, including savings, tax revenue, industry growth, and equity.