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Below is a excerpt to an article published by Richard Neely of the West Virginia Record discussing the need to legalize marijuana for it's tax revenue. A debate that has been going on in West Virginia for some time. Although most agree it is only a matter of time, most also agree that doing it right is very important. A great article...
It's time to consider legalizing marijuana in West Virginia
CHARLESTON – Has anyone noticed that a person can roller skate down Charleston’s Quarrier Street at high noon without fear of being hit by a car?
That is because our mines are closed; the price of oil and gas is so low that there is limited drilling; and, the chemical industry is slowly moving to the Gulf.
Local government units, like the Boone County Board of Education, are going bankrupt, and the current state deficit is projected at roughly $466 million. Furthermore, the new billion dollar casino near D.C. cuts into our tax revenues from race track gambling and the Greenbrier Resort.
Therefore, the issue of legalization of marijuana is not a social issue, and it is not a medical issue: it is an economic issue. And as an economic issue, there is great urgency.
As it stands now, neighboring states have not legalized recreational use of marijuana, although Ohio recently legalized medical marijuana. Therefore, right now — not next year, not after the next election, not “down the road,” but rather right now, we have a great opportunity to begin a new industry that will employ thousands directly and many more indirectly.
In Colorado, the industry generated about $1.1 billion last year in sales, and governments collected $150 million in direct taxes. Indirect taxes, of course, produced more through worker income tax, real estate tax on new industrial facilities, and state fees like workers' compensation premiums.
In economics, the Boston Consulting Group propounded an empirically-based theory in the 1980s that the greater a firm’s total lifetime production of any product the lower the firm’s costs per unit. Called the “learning curve theory,” Boston Consulting pointed out that a large-scale producer will inevitably be more competitive than new entrants in any field because of what the firm has learned about quality control, efficient production and economical distribution.
Therefore, if West Virginia can get the jump on other Eastern states now and exploit a monopoly in the East for three or four years, we can become the experienced and low-cost producer of high quality marijuana.
Read the entire article... West Virginia Record