Tax Revenue vs. Costs

Economic and Social Costs of Legalized Marijuana

The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University commissioned this study to better understand the economic and social costs of legalized marijuana.

While much has been written about the tax revenue and total sales generated from commercial marijuana, there has been little research to understand how Coloradans are paying to mitigate the consequences of commercial marijuana.


Centennial Institute of Colorado Christian University. “Economic and Social Costs of Legalized Marijuana” Web. 20 December 2018 

Marijuana: Fostering a Chronic State

IFI is very concerned about the move by certain state lawmakers to legalize “recreational” marijuana in Illinois. In 2014, so-called “medical” marijuana became legal in the Land of Lincoln. Over the past four years, state lawmakers and bureaucrats at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have dramatically expanded the qualifying medical conditions. Today, anyone determined to use pot can easily apply for and receive a medical cannabis registry identification card.

According to IDPH’s July Update, there are currently over 39,800 qualified users in the state’s “medical” marijuana registry and there are 55 authorized dispensaries statewide.

In July 2016, Illinois state lawmakers passed legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana (under 10 grams) to a $100–200 fine. In addition, records are expunged twice a year.

But these actions are evidently not enough for some lawmakers and for pro-marijuana activists like George Soros. It seems that to satisfy these enthusiasts, the floodgates must fly open and the right to pursue addiction, vice and intoxication must be made readily available for anyone over the age of twenty-one. (Yet in Colorado, the evidence suggests that teen use has grown dramatically.)


Illinois Family Institute. “Marijuana: Fostering a Chronic State” 23 July 2018 Web. 18 September 2018.0

The Profiteers In The Marijuana Industry Promise Riches For States That Legalize Marijuana But Make No Mistake

The only ones getting rich are the marijuana industry. State governments and society lose money whenever pot is legalized. Whether it is costs to employers, increases to social service costs, the rise in homelessness or the regulatory system created to manage the marijuana program, the marijuana industry doesn’t pay these costs. Instead, we all pay: citizens, employers, and state government.

Thus, any revenue is outweighed up by the societal costs attributed to legalization. This is just like tobacco and alcohol, where costs far outweigh revenues.


Healthy and Productive Michigan. “The Profiteers In The Marijuana Industry Promise Riches For States That Legalize Marijuana But Make No Mistake” Web. 14 August 2018.

Legalization would put additional strain on an already faltering economy. Marijuana alone was involved in 375,000 emergency room visits. According to the Department of Justice, Drug overdoses already outnumber gunshot deaths in America and are approaching motor vehicle crashes as the nation’s leading cause of accidental deaths. It is true that taxing marijuana sales would generate some tax revenue, but the cost handling the influx of problems resulting from increased use would far outweigh any gain made by marijuana taxation.
Legalizing marijuana would serve only to compound the problems already associated with drug use.
According to advocates of legalization, the government’s efforts to combat the illegal drug trade have been an expensive failure. Consequently, they argue, focusing on substance abuse and treatment would be more effective means of combating drug abuse while reducing the violence and social ills stemming from anti-drug enforcement efforts.

Banking on Pot: Why This Bank Is the 1st in Florida to Accept Marijuana Money

There aren’t any banks in the state currently serving medical marijuana dispensaries for fear of losing their FDIC licenses. Orlando-based First Green Bank is taking a major risk that no other bank is doing in the state…


Orlando Business Journal. “Banking on Pot: Why This Bank Is the 1st in Florida to Accept Marijuana Money.” 9 August 2017. Web. 9 August 2017.