Push for pot, now with lobbying muscle

medical marijuana signNoted: a Colorado-based marijuana company has hired influential lobbying firm Patricia Lynch Associates to push for marijuana legalization in New York State. [NYDN]

One of the main arguments being floated for pot legalization: tax revenue. State senator Diane Savino -- who's been pushing for medical marijuana since at least earlier this year -- told the NY Post earlier this month that licensing and taxing could generate close to $1 billion for the state. We'd be interested in the math behind that figure. We did some back-of-the-envelope estimating a few years back and figured the state could probably pull in at least $230 million. [WSJ] [NY Post]

Andrew Cuomo has publicly been less than enthusiastic about the idea. [State of Politics]

Voters in both Colorado and Washington State recently approved measures to legalize recreational use of pot. Estimates of the revenue potential from taxation in those states are in the $300-$400 million/year range. [CNN] [US News]

Eighteen states and DC now allow medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- even though it's still illegal under federal law. A Siena poll reported this past May that New Yorkers support legalizing medical marijuana 57-33.

Earlier on AOA: Pot prices around New York State (2011)

photo: Flickr user Caveman 92223

Comments

Well since NY's population is 3-4 times as big as either Colorado or Washington, it would seem likely you could do 3-4 times the business here.

And by some accounts marijuana is currently the biggest cash crop in NY, if not the second biggest. The business is already there, why not tax the hell out of it?

And stop paying all that money to lock up non violent smokers. This isn't only a way to generate revenue is a huge opportunity for savings.

And look at this. In 2010 there were 32000 deaths from prescription drugs. 0 from marijuana.

http://www.economicsjunkie.com/annual-drug-related-deaths-in-the-us-marijuana-ranks-last-with-zero/

"Andrew Cuomo has publicly been less than enthusiastic about the idea. [State of Politics]"

Of course Cuomo's less than enthusiastic -- there's no political upside to jumping on board at this time. Always the pragmatist.

Of course I want it to be legal, it would be far cheaper, and I wouldn't have to worry every time a helicopter flew near my house. But legal pot would take away a lot of the fun.

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