New Research Concludes Marijuana Legalization May Hurt U.S. Economy

marijuana-jarA paper recently published in the Journal for Global Drug Policy and Practice entitled, The Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization, provided an extensive review of research and uncovered significant public health and public safety risks that could greatly outweigh economic gain.

The author, David Evans, an attorney and former research scientist at the New Jersey Department of Health, was surprised by some of the findings of the research. He said, “This research shows that the alleged financial gains of marijuana legalization cannot be gauged currently because tax revenue projections are inherently uncertain and they rely on questionable assumptions about markets. The proposed financial gains of legalization depend on various factors that cannot be assessed at this time. There may be significant and questionable disparities between projected and actual tax revenues due to variation in regional demand for marijuana, future demand for taxable marijuana, revenue allocation among levels of government, and regulatory compliance and enforcement. Invoking fiscal rhetoric to show a cost-benefit to legalization is used to advance the legalization agenda. In effect, it misdirects public debate, and belies a corporate purpose to privatize profits and make society pay for the losses, subordinating the interests of taxpayers to those of the marijuana industry.”

Dr. Eric Voth, Chair of the Institute on Global Drug Policy and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal also remarked on the paper. He said, “This piece included a comprehensive look at a myriad of different variables that could impact a bottom line assessment of the economic gains purported about marijuana legalization. I was happy we were able to publish the piece because it will give our readers a very well rounded accounting of this issue.”

The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, a joint effort of the Institute on Global Drug Policy and the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse, is an international, open access, peer-reviewed, online journal with the goal of bridging the information gap on drug policy issues between the medical/scientific community, policymakers and the concerned lay public. Edited by Eric A. Voth, MD, FACP and David A. Gross, MD, DFAPA. Our intended readership includes clinicians, clinical researchers, policymakers, prevention specialists and the interested public. Learn more at www.globaldrugpolicy.org.