There is more money generated off illegal marijuana then there would be if it was legal. It is a plant, which can potentially grow wild in almost any climate. There should be no reason that the US spends so much money trying to contain something that grows naturally. Instead the money should be used for wise education on the matter. (i.e. health risks, side-effects) But, as mentioned before, the economy is fueled by black market sales. Over 75% of non-violent criminals spending billions of tax payers money in prison are convicted on drug charges. The majority of that 75% is from trafficking/sales of marijuana alone. Marijuana wasn't the original problem. Hemp, it's sister species, was running down sales of big business cotton providers and chemical companies such as DuPont. There was also a very discriminating association with Mexican-Americans. It was an easy pitch for Hearst and Anslinger because those in charge (RWMs) during the 1930's didn't readily use marijuana. Now it continues because of economic benefits and self-induced stigma. (i.e. propaganda like Refer Madness) I have done quite a bit of research into the topic and I hope our generation of intellects will see the capricious nature of current US Marijuana Laws. Even though I don't believe the legalization of marijuana should take precedent over other important issues at hand, de-criminalization is key.
True...but like I said, it's a plant... If completely legal, anyone could grow it and taxing would be difficult. If partially legal, such as in Vancouver, it could be sold only in regulation shops and then have as many taxes as the stoners would pay.