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Taxing And Regulating Cannabis Could Yield $14 Billion In Annual Savings And Revenue, Study Says
Boston, MA: Enforcing state and federal marijuana laws costs taxpayers an estimated $7.7 billion annually, according to a report released this week by visiting Harvard University economics professor, Jeffrey Miron, and endorsed by more than 500 economists.
The report, entitled "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States," estimates that legalizing marijuana would save state and local governments $5.3 billion annually, while saving the federal government $2.4 billion. A previous analysis of marijuana arrest expenditures published by the NORML Foundation in March estimated that enforcing marijuana prohibition, primarily at the state level, costs approximately $7.6 billion per year.
Miron's report also estimates that legalizing cannabis would yield $6.2 billion in annual revenue if it were taxed at rates comparable to those imposed upon alcohol and tobacco.
"We ... urge the country to commence an open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition," states an open letter accompanying the report, signed by over 500 economists, including Stanford University's Milton Friedman. "We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods. At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition."
A previous survey published in the April 2004 issue of the journal Econ Journal Watch found that most US economists believe that current drug prohibition strategies are ineffective and favor liberalizing American drug policies.
Full text of the report, "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States," is available online at: http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/mironreport.html
Cannabinoid Neuroprotective Against Cerebral Infarction, Study Says
Fukuoka, Japan: Administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) is neuroprotective against cerebral infarction (localized cell death in the brain) in mice, according to clinical trial data published in the May issue of the journal Stroke.
"Treatment of cannabidiol ... significantly reduced the infarct volume ... in mice" in a dose dependent manner, a research team at Fukuoka University's Department of Neuropharmacology concluded. Authors speculated that CBD "exerts a neuroprotective effect through its anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic, and anti-emetic activity, [as well as through] vasorelaxation."
Researchers at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have previously reported that cannabinoids are neuroprotective in animals against brain damage caused by alcohol and/or stroke.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "Cannabidiol prevents cerebral infarction," is available in the May issue of the journal Stroke.
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