If you want to raise revenue, look to CO and WA

It’s almost as if legalization were a no brainer:

If a pair of new government forecasts prove true, Washington and Colorado would see more than $800 million in extra revenue over the next few years thanks to marijuana sales. At the least. The estimates, both released in recent days, differ greatly in what they predict and over what time period. But together they show that the plant, now legal to purchase in both states, could generate at least $811.2 million for the trailblazing states before 2020. Washington can expect $637 million by 2019, while Colorado can expect $174.5 million through the fiscal year that ends in 2017, according to state estimates. Such estimates are, of course, difficult to make as there is no precedence for what is being forecast: Marijuana for recreational use has never before been sold legally.

And that doesn’t even get into the cost savings from avoiding socially destructive jail time for the “offense” of marijuana possession.

It’s only a matter of time before the entire country sees the light on this one. Everyone will then wonder what took us so long, even as conservatives look around and say “who, me?”

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.