Robert Reich: Why We Must Legalize Marijuana – OpEd

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The federal prohibition on marijuana has been a disaster. For decades, millions of Americans have been locked up and billions of dollars have been wasted. It’s also deepened racial and economic inequality.

We must end this nonsensical prohibition.

The facts are staggering. In 2017, more Americans were arrested for marijuana possession than for murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery combined.That’s one marijuana arrest every minute.

The costs associated with enforcing this ban – including arrests, court costs, and incarceration – reach nearly $14 billion a year.

Prohibition also hurts the economy in terms of lost wages. And Americans with criminal records have a harder time finding a job and getting the education they need.

On the other hand, legalizing, taxing, and regulating is good for the economy and creates jobs.

By simply levying a tax on marijuana like we do cigarettes and alcohol, state and local governments could raise more than $6 billion a year. This doesn’t even include additional

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