The economic costs of marijuana prohibition are staggering. There are two main ways that this policy costs us money: through criminal justice costs and through the failure to raise tax revenue from marijuana sales. Drug task forces, drug courts, and prisons are kept busy with marijuana dealers and users - an expensive system that has clearly failed to make marijuana disappear. Since many states across America have legalized recreational marijuana, we see the vast amount of tax revenue that can be generated from its legal sale.
In his article for the Washington Post, Christopher Ingraham discusses the billions of dollars that could be earned through tax revenue alone if we were to legalize marijuana. This money can be then used to reinvest in infrastructure, education, and other important public institutions. Read about it here.