Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is proposing that the state legalize recreational marijuana in an effort to raise tax revenues lost during the Covid pandemic. Ironically, his draconian shutdown of much of the state over the past six months has seriously impacted the PA economy, and hence the state’s tax revenue.
But it’s a pipe dream. In Colorado, for every dollar gained from marijuana taxes, taxpayers spend $4.50 to mitigate the effects of legalization. For Pennsylvania, any short term revenue increase will be swallowed up by the serious long term social and economic effects of legalization.
In fact, if the governor is interested in “following the science,” the science tells us that legalizing marijuana is a bad idea. The Centennial Institute, a public policy think tank in Colorado, produced a study in 2018 on the social and economic effects of legalizing marijuana, and the results are staggering.