“..What would you buy if you had an extra $42 billion to spend every year?
What might our government buy if it suddenly had that much money dropped onto its lap every year?
For one thing, it might pay for the entire $7 billion annual increase in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that President Bush is threatening to veto because of its cost — and there’d still be $35 billion left over.
Or perhaps you’d hire 880,000 schoolteachers at the average U.S. teacher salary of $47,602 per year.
Or give every one of our current teachers a 30 percent raise (at a cost of $15 billion, according to the American Federation of Teachers) and use what’s left to take a $27 billion whack out of the federal deficit.
Or use all $42 billion for a massive tax cut that would put an extra $140 in the pockets of every person in the country — $560 for a family of four.
The mind reels at the ways such a massive sum of money could be put to use.
Why $42 billion?
Because that’s what our current marijuana laws cost American taxpayers each year, according to a new study by researcher Jon Gettman, Ph.D. —
..$10.7 billion in direct law enforcement costs..
..and $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues.
And that may be an underestimate, at least on the law enforcement side..”
go to source/story>>AlterNet: DrugReporter: The War on Pot: America’s $42 Billion Annual Boondoggle