via The Fresh Scent
Harvard Economics Professor Jeffrey Miron was a guest on a CNN show, hosted by Rick Sanchez. Miron claims that a $77 billion revenue would be created by legalizing drugs. Miron breaks it down by saying $44 billion will be saved by not spending the money on police for arrests, judges and prosecutors for all the trials and prisons and prison guards for the incarceration. Another $33 billion would be obtained by tax revenue of legal drugs, like how cigarettes and alcohol are regulated. Miron even says that legalizing and ending the prohibition will reduce the violence crossing the boarder from Mexico.
Sanchez brings up the point that the economy depends on the prisons and the prison system. He asks what would happen to all their jobs and the DEA. Miron then says that jobs shouldn’t be created by forbidding something.Really? That’s what you’re worried about, the jobs of prison guards and DEA agents? They work in the law enforcement field, they can create programs that transfer those people to work in other government agencies dealing with law enforcement. As far as prison guards losing their jobs, there will still be murders, robberies and all the evil that men do — so prisons will still be needed to incarcerate those individuals committing those acts.
Miron’s viewpoint centers around the fact that if drugs were made into legal goods, then that would shift their underground market appeal. The negative aspects of prohibition like organized crime that create corruption and violence would diminish like it had done when the prohibition on alcohol was lifted.
At the end, Sanchez asks what Miron’s colleagues think of his ideas and wouldn’t people think that he was a stoner. Miron goes on to say that a lot of economists see the unattended consequences of it and realize that a lot of the negative aspects of drugs have come from the drug prohibition.
I’m not sure about legalizing all drugs, but legalizing marijuana would be a step in the right direction and despite what Obama believes, it may just have a chance to ahem… “grow the economy.”