Report: Legalizing Marijuana Could Earn WV Millions

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The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy released a report Thursday that examined the amount of money and the benefits West Virginia could receive if the state legalized marijuana.

According to the report,  if marijuana is legalized and taxed at a rate of 25% of its wholesale price, West Virginia could collect an estimated $45 million annually. That number increases to $194 million if 10% of marijuana users who live within a 200-mile radius of WV come to the state to purchase marijuana.

The report says that West Virginia spent more than $17 million enforcing the state’s marijuana laws in 2010, and that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana in could reduce the number of marijuana-related arrests, especially among African Americans, and reduce WV’s criminal-justice-related costs.

In the report it states that Colorado has 25,311 people licensed to work in its marijuana industry and over 1,000 retail marijuana businesses as of September 2015. It goes on to say that legalizing marijuana could increase tourism to the state, particularly in regions with outdoor recreational activities.

The report also says that marijuana could positively impact West Virginia’s opioid-based painkiller and heroin epidemic by offering another, less-addictive alternative to individuals who are suffering from debilitating medical conditions.

If you would like to read the full report it can found here: http://www.wvpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Marijuana-legalization-paper.pdf

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