A year into the experiments with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales.
Despite efforts by governments in Latin America, illicit drugs continue to provide one of the largest incomes for criminal organizations, enabling them to penetrate and corrupt political and social institutions.
Legalising and taxing cannabis could be worth as much as £1.25bn a year to the government, a study suggests. The report Licensing and regulation of the cannabis market in England and Wales: towards a cost-benefit analysis, quantifies the revenue to be gained from the regulation and taxation of the cannabis market in England and Wales. It estimates that reduced enforcement costs, such as police, court and prison time and community sentences, could save £300m or more alone, with the remaining three-quarters of the net benefit come from tax revenue.