Study: States are losing out on billions of dollars by keeping pot illegal

May 16, 2016
Washington Post

The federal government and most states are throwing away $28 billion in yearly tax revenue by not legalizing marijuana, according to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation, an independent think tank.

The bulk of that revenue — $20.5 billion of it — would accrue to states through the collection of excise taxes on marijuana sales, general sales taxes, and income and payroll taxes levied on workers and businesses in a mature legal marijuana industry.

The federal government would take in another $7.5 billion, primarily from income and payroll taxes, and $500 million in excise taxes if marijuana were to be taxed the same way tobacco is.

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