Cannabis legalization can save $¼ billion in the NC budget every year

Scales with time and money distribution
Two quick items before jumping into this week’s action.
1. HUGE shout-out to Wake county advocates who delivered an official letter on behalf of NC NORML to the NCGA in Raleigh which supplies all the FACTS to counter negative law enforcement BELIEFS. Check out the short letter here.
2. Want to get involved? The next NC NORML Orientation is coming up next Sunday! Register here.

Please Copy, Paste, and email to the NC Senator and Representative(s) in your county (FindYourLegislators for their email addresses)

Dear Senator or Representative (insert name):

Some people think about tax revenue associated with cannabis legalization when the larger revenue impact is actually the government budget savings. The ​Cato Institute​ issued a study which estimated a $263,300,000 budget savings for North Carolina regarding cannabis enforcement. SOURCE: The Budgetary Effects of Ending Drug Prohibition

Cannabis legalization could deliver three distinct financial benefits to North Carolina:

The first benefit is the often overlooked substantial budget savings in the court system, medical expenses, and the opioid crisis

Secondly, legalization lowers workers compensation payouts and increases income when workers’ records are expunged.

Thirdly, there is the cost of law enforcement. The Journal of Drug Issues estimated that U.S. law enforcement against marijuana sales and possession cost ~$8 billion a year in criminal justice resources. The cost of keeping cannabis tied to criminal activity “calls into question the merits of policies” that use the criminal justice system rather than the regulation of marijuana access. SOURCE: The Impact of Marijuana Law Enforcement in an Economic Model of Crime - Edward M. Shepard, Paul R. Blackley, 2007

Along the same lines, the ACLU, using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, estimated a lower national amount. North Carolina and its counties spent an estimated $55 million in 2010. SOURCE: Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White   

Below are some additional reports on the cost of not having adult-use cannabis consumption. Prohibition leads to higher addiction rates for alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs and higher opioid overdose rates.

States with legal cannabis have lower opioid overdose rates than states with cannabis prohibition. SOURCE: Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010 | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine 

During the Opioid Crisis  in 2016-19  47,940 North Carolinians experienced drug overdose emergency visits. SOURCE: NORTH CAROLINA EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT (ED) VISITS FOR OVERDOSE INVOLVING MEDICATIONS OR DRUGS WITH DEPENDENCY POTENTIAL: JUNE 2020 

The ​Centers for Disease Control​ say that “a fatal overdose is unlikely” as a result of cannabis use. SOURCE:​ Is it possible to “overdose” or have a “bad reaction” to marijuana? | FAQs | Marijuana

Please support access to medical and adult-use cannabis.


Your Name
Your County
Your contact info (optional)

If you have questions on Effective Advocacy, please email Janis Ramquist.

NC NORML needs you to share your personal insights with your lawmakers so they understand the human impact of prohibition.

  • Have you written a persuasive “elevator speech”
  • Check out our website for supporting facts and information 
  • If you have spoken with your legislators, please fill out the constituent insight form so we can add to our legislative database

As always:
Donate to NC NORML to support marijuana reform.
If this email was forwarded to you, sign up for future Nuggets.

Stay up-to-date by checking in on our website or following NC NORML on social media.