Study: Legalizing pot would boost Israeli economy
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Legalizing marijuana would generate more than $450 million annually for the Israeli economy, a new study shows.
The black market for cannabis in Israel is worth $707 million annually, according to the study released on Oct. 2 by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. If the sale of marijuana were legalized and taxed at rates similar to cigarettes, it would add about $268 million in tax revenues, the study found. Additionally, the study said, about $198 million could be saved in law enforcement costs directly related to illegal marijuana use.
At least 275,000 Israeli adults used marijuana in the past year, the study found; the tax revenue estimate was based on that number.
Some 75 percent of those questioned in a public opinion survey analyzed by the study said they believe marijuana has legitimate medical uses. Israeli support for medical marijuana was similar to the level of backing recorded in the United States in a survey earlier this year, according to the institute.
Twenty-six percent of Israelis supported the legalization of marijuana, the survey found, with 64 percent opposed. — jta
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