A new study claims legalizing cannabis in Illinois would create 24,000 new jobs, generate $1 billion for the state’s economy, and generate $500 million in new state and local tax revenue.
The study from the left-leaning Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois said legalization of recreational cannabis would have numerous economic benefits.
“Assuming similar usage and taxation rates as Colorado, we’d expect marijuana legalization to have more than twice the financial impact in Illinois because of our state’s comparatively larger size,” said study co-author and ILEPI Policy Director Frank Manzo IV.
The study also claims legalization would save taxpayers millions in law enforcement costs.
“Though decriminalization has already dramatically reduced law enforcement costs, police and courts still spend millions of dollars each year prosecuting marijuana offenses and hundreds of people remain incarcerated at a cost of more than $22,000 each year per inmate,” said study co-author Jill Manzo. “By ending these prohibitions, Illinois taxpayers could save $18.4 million per year.”