Legalizing Marijuana Good For City Coffers: New Report

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010  |  Updated 5:30 PM PDT
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Legalizing Marijuana Good For City Coffers: New Report

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SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 12: Lucas Thayer holds his medical marijuana club card during a demonstration in front of the San Francisco Hall of Justice July 12, 2005 in San Francisco, California. A dozen medicinal marijuana patients staged a demonstration in front of San Francisco Police headquarters in response to the police departments cooperation with Federal law enforcement agents who have raided pot clubs in in San Francisco over the past six weeks. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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 A new study says legalizing marijuana in California could result in additional revenue for local governments and free up law enforcement to prosecute other crimes.
     
That's the conclusion of a report by the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. 

Sounds like a win for the supporters of Prop 19, but the report also cautions any potential windfall could be offset by a number of factors, including how the federal government responds and how local governments choose to tax and regulate sales and distribution.
     
Discussions are already underway in the Berkeley city council to tax legal pot by as much as 10 percent.

Voters will decide whether to make recreation use of marijuana legal in November. The initiative would allow adults to cultivate marijuana and enable local governments to permit and tax marijuana sales.
     
Supporters say legalization would be a boon for state and local coffers.
     
But critics argue it would increase pot usage and crime. They also dispute any positive economic effects.

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