Federal Government: Legalised Marijuana Could Bring In $300 Million A Year

Is the legalisation of marijuana in Australia a pipe dream? Maybe not, if the government takes the Parliamentary Budget Office's latest estimates under consideration. According to a new report from the PBO, GST on marijuana sales could bring in over $300 per year in revenue -- at least to start with.

The document, entitled "Legalising marijuana", is available for public consumption from the Parliament of Australia website. The proposal outlines the potential monetary benefits of legalised marijuana sales, both in terms of GST collection and the reduction of enforcement costs.

While the gross GST revenue would be $650 million, most of this would be funnelled back into the states and territories. For the federal government, the pros come from reduced funding for the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Australian Border Force. This would equate to $259 million over the 2015-2016 budget.

It should be noted that the report has its fair share of suppositions: compliance from all states and territories, no restrictions on marijuana production and increased supply and demand from legalisation. It also ignores the impact such a move would have on alcohol and tobacco sales. The report itself states that the costing is "of low reliability":

There is uncertainty regarding the price and quantity of marijuana currently consumed, and the price and quantity of marijuana that would be consumed in a newly legalised market. It is also difficult to separately identify marijuana law enforcement activities, as these are often integrated within broader law enforcement activities.

Still, it's fascinating the federal government has any interest at all. Hard to ignore the revenue potential, I suppose.

[Parliament of Australia, via SMH]

Image: Brett Levin / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

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    They could set up medical marijuana too, something those with chronic pain issues who don't want to get high, could get behind.

    Legalise it, tax it (and alcohol) above GST, and funnel the tax revenue directly into the health budget. Increase the penalty for any crime or misdemeanour while intoxicated. People will get their legalised weed and be forced to accept some personal responsibility for it.

    From a healthcare perspective, I sure hope it would impact on alcohol sales. I'd rather be stuck in an ambulance with a pot head talking shit than a drunk trying to cave my skull in.

      Sure, let's ignore the fact that it is still smoking, mostly without using a filter, and that the attendant medical complications of smoking are far worse than those of alcohol. No, it's all about how it affe3cts YOU.

      I'd also point out that $300million a year means nothing to the Federal Govt. They'd make far more adding 10c to the cost of a packet of cigarettes.

        Once again you are shooting your mouth off without thought. Smoking pot is far less dangerous than cigarettes. Pot is a single component toke while cigs are multi and full of carcinogens that are designed specifically to get you hooked. Multiple studies have been done comparing Pot to Alcohol and there is no specific comparison that says one is better than the other. Although I'd wager that Pot comes out ahead. Btw, I do not smoke either of them.

        Last edited 01/02/16 9:32 am

        By that logic we better ban alcohol to stem the tide of cirrhosis, pancreatitis, portal hypertension and death by ruptured oesophageal varices. Not to mention the alcohol fuelled violence that affects lots of people, not just myself. Or I could just not set up a straw man argument, but hey if you like that sort of thing...

        People are going to smoke weed. Its psychoactive effects aren't such a big deal for most people and whether you're a chronic smoker or alcoholic your body is destroyed either way. May as well let people do it and make some money off it too.

    And that's just the revenue, let alone decreased judicial costs

    'According to a new report from the PBO, GST on marijuana sales could bring in over $300 per year in revenue — at least to start with"
    $300 a year!! Jeez no wonder so many people are selling the stuff...Oh wait.

    GST on marijuana sales could bring in over $300 per year in revenue — at least to start with
    Not much, but its a start, LOL.

    would that increase schitzo? Probably not tuas they are doing it anyway.
    Would it reduce the number of people trying to access ice?

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