The state of California, currently in the midst of a severe budget crisis, is contemplating allowing its citizens to use pot recreationally. In one strange twist of fate, how ironic is it that one of the states missions, namely the “war of drugs”, that has been a drain on the state’s budget costing millions of tax payer dollars in law enforcement salaries, imprisonment and court costs now may turn out to be its salvation.

A California state legislator proposed legalizing the sale of marijuana, stating, legalizing and taxing marijuana would generate more than $1 billion annually for the cash-strapped state.

Tom Ammiano, a California Assemblyman introduced a bill Monday that would legalize sales and possession of the drug for people 21 or older. The legislation would impose regulations and taxation similar to those for alcohol sales. Federal law makes it a crime to possess or sell marijuana, therefore if this measure passed it most assuredly would face immediate legal challenge.

The dire financial situation in California is the reasoning for proposing the bill, said Quintin Mecke, a spokesman for Mr. Ammiano. The state, which last week closed a $42 billion budget deficit through steep spending cuts and tax increases, should be making money on pot sales, Mr. Mecke said. He estimated that marijuana is a $14 billion-a-year crop in California.

Technorati Tags: budget deficit, California, legalize marijuana, marijuana, war on drug

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