Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Law?: The Economic Implications of Legalizing Marijuana

Open Access
Evert, Michelle Lynn
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David Shapiro, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Shapiro, Honors Advisor
  • Bee Yan Roberts, Faculty Reader
  • marijuana
  • economic implications
This thesis will discuss a variety of economic implications that could result from the legalization of marijuana. It will provide background information on marijuana laws and drug policy, including arguments for and against legalization. Next, the thesis will discuss the estimated tax revenue that can be obtained if marijuana were legalized, drawing on reports by Dr. Jeffrey Miron, Dr. Jon Gettman, and Max Chaiken. The following section presents a cost-savings analysis as argued by Dr. Jeffrey Miron. The thesis will then examine other economic issues affected by legalization and determines that there is the possibility for a successful hemp industry in the United States as well as positive economic implications for Mexico. Finally, the thesis concludes with a libertarian perspective on the issue to demonstrate the way a good number of economists view drug policy an alternative view of legalization outside of the mainstream Democratic and Republican perspectives.