ACLU maps cost of marijuana enforcement
From the article:
Washington spent more than $200 million on enforcing and prosecuting marijuana laws and incarcerating the folks that violated them, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington estimates.
The organization released an interactive map today of what it estimates each county spent on marijuana law enforcement. Although not specifically tied to Initiative 502, which gives voters a chance to legalize marijuana use for adults under some circumstances, ACLU is a supporter of the ballot measure.
I have always wondered what motivation, other that fear of others having a good time, could drive something as inane as an anti-marijuana policy.
I think I may have a partial answer.
That old American standby – keeping down competition.
In describing the $425.7 million dollars taken in by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, a map was given to show where the money went:
In Fiscal Year 2011, $345 million was sent to the General Fund, $71 million to cities and counties, $8.2 million to education and prevention, and $1.5 million to research. To see how much revenue your city or county received from the WSLCB in Fiscal Year 2011, visit www.liq.wa.gov/about/where-your-liquor-dollars-go [All the "where-your-liquor-dollars-go" links appear to be broken. Point an an FAQ and not the documentation.].
Consider Pierce County: Spend on anti-marijuana – $21,138,797.
If you can guess the direct URL to the county by county liquor proceeds: http://liq.wa.gov/publications/releases/2011CountiesRevenue/fy2011-PIERCE.pdf (for Pierce county), you will find in 2011, the entire county got $7,489,073.
I’m just a standards editor and semantic integration enthusiast and by no means a captain of industry.
But, spending three times the revenue from competitors to marijuana on anti-marijuana activities makes no business sense.
If you can find the liquor revenue numbers for 2011, what other comparisons would you draw?