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Wash. Pot Expert: Don’t Count on Marijuana for Revenue

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Washington Pot Expert: Don't Rely on Marijuana for State RevenueWashington’s marijuana consultant warns the state not to look at marijuana as a cash cow. Dr. Mark Kleiman, a UCLA drug policy expert and a consultant paid to help the state implement its marijuana law, warned first that the revenue raised by the drug will be much less than the projected $450 million. Kleiman estimates it will raise less than half that amount. He also warned against relying on marijuana for state revenue because that entails relying on abuse and addiction, which is against a state’s broader public interests.

Just as 46 percent of alcohol is consumed in drinking binges, most of the marijuana is consumed by just 20 percent of marijuana users, Kleiman said. This means the state will have to rely on heavy users to raise money: “The only way to get a lot of revenue is to sell a lot of marijuana. The only way to sell a lot of marijuana is to sell to people who smoke a lot of marijuana. And that’s not a good thing.”

Kleiman said it will be difficult to set the price for marijuana since higher prices mean fewer buyers and less revenue, but low prices could increase youth use and adult abuse.

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Source: Seattle Times Weed won’t make state a lot of money, consultant says

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1 Comment

  • Malcolm Kyle

    If the intent here is to subvert the will of the voters then they couldn’t have made a better choice than Mark Kleiman, a prohibitionist who has dedicated most of his life to opposing any move towards a saner drug policy.

    Kindly google “Kleiman is a prohibitionist” and you’ll see articles going back decades.

    “Third, even on those rare occasions where Kleiman does not endorse prohibitionist policy, his analysis is infused with a prohibitionist morality. In his often superb chapter on marijuana, his evidence forces him to consider alternatives. Yet he is reluctant at every turn. He brings himself to admit that the costs of the current prohibition (e.g. each year 350 000 arrests and up to 10 billion dollars in enforcement costs and lost revenue) are probably too great for the ‘benefits’ received. But he still conceives of the alleged deterrent value of prohibition as a benefit, and again implies that he believes marijuana use is in itself somehow ‘bad’.”

    —Prohibitionism in Drug Policy Discourse by Craig Reinarman, University of California, Santa Cruz,

    “He also bases his support for prohibition on the fact that the criminal justice system does not do a good enough job of preventing drug-related crime. Most informed observers, however, trace many of the problems in our criminal justice system to the burden and corruption placed on it by narcotics prohibition. Finally, I would note that even Mr. Kleiman realizes that only a small percentage of the population develops abuse problems with any specific drug and that we do not know what makes a given person have an abuse problem with a given drug. Why then does he recommend a nationwide policy that is oppressive, impersonal, and ineffective?

    —Mark Thornton, Auburn University.
    A Review of Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results, 1992.

    Make no mistake, Mark Kleiman is a typical parasitic-gravy-trainer who has spent his whole life leeching off the government (our) purse. Do not expect him to do anything to derail his own gravy train!