We have previously discussed how the economics of legalization of marijuana could be changing the dynamic in the politics surrounding the issue. If that is true, legalization advocates must be pleased by the figures just out from 2015. Legal U.S. pot sales have risen to $5.4 billion for 2015 — that is a 17.4 percent increase from 2014. With both taxes and revenues flowing from the legal pot market, legalization may be becoming entrenched in the country.
Adult use sales grew to $998 million from $351 million in 2014. The growth could skyrocket with voters in various states, including California, expected to take up legalization in 2016.
In Washington state sales increased 300 percent in 2015.
It will become increasingly difficult for politicians to pull the plug on an industry worth billions in revenue with millions of customers. Moreover, there will be greater pressure on conservatives to respect the state’s right to decide this issue for themselves under federalism guarantees.
27 thoughts on “Report: Marijuana Sales In 2015 Grew To $5.4 Billion”
Schulte: The studies that purport to “show the harm that marijuana does to youths” are easily refuted. marijuana became popular in the US almost 50 years ago (I would put it at 1967, the Summer of Love) and large numbers of American teenagers have been smoking pot ever since. If marijuana were genuinely harmful to youths, I would expect to see many millions of damaged individuals up to about age 65. Where are they?
Wade – I didn’t run the studies. However, if you search they are out there. The damage is educational , not physical. I can tell you anecdotally that students who are doped up in my classes did not do as well as the ones who are clear headed.
The so-called “War on Drugs” also destroyed the 4th Amendment and other due process amendments – maybe it’s greatest casualty – it destroyed America’s rule of law system of government.
Report: Marijuana Sales In 2015 Grew To $5.4 Billion
How much money has been saved by not flooding the courts/prisons with people found “guilty” of ingesting a substance the US government has arbitrarily decreed verboten?
How many lives/families were not destroyed by arbitrary government prosecution of inane “laws” seeking to curtail use of Cannabis sativa?
What would the American landscape look like if the US government hadn’t stolen over a trillion US dollars (under the guise of good governance) of productivity if the money were left in the pockets of the people that earned it in the first place?
American style government was designed to ensure maximum individual freedom, as long as that freedom exercise doesn’t infringe on the rights of OTHER citizens. The Founding Fathers never designed a nanny-state where the government plays a parental role protecting citizens from themselves (assuming citizens are of sound mind).
Why not outlaw Big Macs, milkshakes, skateboarding, skiing or violent movies? Government’s role is to only intervene if one citizen’s actions are infringing on the rights of another citizen – not to act as an arm of the insurance companies protecting you from yourself to lower insurance rates.
Once legalized, like alcohol, it is only the government’s business if one is intoxicated while driving or operating dangerous machinery that could endanger other people – not themselves.
This is also a potentially landmark interpretation of the 10th Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 10th Amendment was largely destroyed by racists’ exploitation during the Jim Crow era, who wrongly used it to violate the constitutional rights of African-Americans and other minorities. In the marijuana debate, the 10th Amendment appears to be interpreted properly – since it is not violating the constitutional rights of other citizens – do states have legal jurisdiction over the federal government?
Not saying you should do it or it is healthy, but do you have a right to make your own decisions to have a beer, milkshake, cigarette or smoke marijuana (once a state legalizes the product)?
Michealb…..you dont pay tax (yet) on the tomato you grow. Which is what i got from doglovers post…..since the article is about “raising revenue” off pot Sales.
Also any pot revenue raising is coming from a zero sum game. Or worse. For instance it presumes all the colorado or wherever users already were using and now the state gets a cut. When really it might be just money not spent on something else (that was already taxed….like new shoes or kit kats) from fresh paycheck to paycheck users. Do we really want new ppl using pot just so their tax dollars come from pot sales instead of other sales? As a smoker the gov is happy to exploit my addiction charging a thirty to forty percent tax. Pot smokers will be that revenue stream next. If it be legal then just let it be legal. Just like ……sugar
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