Democratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a legislation last month to legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale. According to TIME Magazine:
Pot is, after all, California’s biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales, dwarfing the state’s second largest agricultural commodity – milk and cream – which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state’s tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion a year in much needed revenue, offsetting some of the billions of dollars in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget… State revenues would be derived from a $50-per-oz. levy on retail sales of marijuana and sales taxes.
Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, who supports the legalization of marijuana and believes it would save the state somewhere in the range of $1 billion a year in eliminating the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of marijuana users and sellers, states:
“We couldn’t make this drug any more available if we tried. Not only do we have those problems, along with glamorizing it by making it illegal, but we also have the crime and corruption that go along with it. Unfortunately, every society in the history of mankind has had some form of mind-altering, sometimes addictive substances to use, to misuse, abuse or get addicted to. Get used to it. They’re here to stay. So let’s try to reduce those harms, and right now we couldn’t do it worse if we tried.”