Gazette Editorial: Seriously Dude, WV Should be Growing this Money

Charleston Gazette-Mail - This state possibly could reap nearly $200 million in new taxes — and save $17 million currently spent on police prosecutions — if marijuana were legalized, an in-depth study by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy concludes. Read

Further, allowing safe pot could reduce the state's terrible opioid death toll, and save many West Virginians from damaging criminal records.

We think this study deserves serious consideration by legislators and other Mountain State leaders. Prohibition of marijuana has been a failure — just as prohibition of alcohol was. It's time for fresh ideas.

The report points out that West Virginia has four options:

It could follow four states and the District of Columbia which have legalized pot for recreational use by adults.

It could follow 25 states that allow medical marijuana to reduce suffering.

It could follow 21 states that decriminalized possession of small amounts for personal use.

Or it could do nothing and remain a harsh enforcement place.

In November, several more states are to vote on legalization. Clearly, the U.S. is trending toward allowing adults more freedom to choose their personal habits.

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© 2018 West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy