How the U.S. Government is profiting from keeping pot illegal

A new report suggests the feds could earn $5 billion in the next decade if weed stays federally banned – so where's the incentive for legalization?
Rolling Stone (US)
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Because of the discrepancy between state and federal law, legal marijuana businesses are stuck paying twice as much as normal businesses – effective rates of up to 70 percent – in federal taxes. How much extra tax revenue makes it to the feds because of marijuana's illegality is not clear. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation responded to a request from Colorado Senator Cory Gardner with the projected additional amount collected from legal cannabis businesses between 2018-2027 if it remains federally illegal: $5 billion. While AG Jeff Sessions is presenting marijuana legalization as a moral problem and encouraging prosecutors to go after state-legal weed businesses, the federal government may have a financial incentive to keep cannabis listed.