California NORML's analysis of the benefits of marijuana legalization are as follows:
* An excise tax of $50 per ounce of marijuana would raise about $770 - 900 million per year.
* Retail sales on the legal market would range from $3 - $4.5 billion, generating
another $240 - 360 million in sales taxes.
* Legalization would save over $200 million in law enforcement costs for arrest, prosecution, trial and imprisonment of marijuana offenders. Need for CAMP helicopter surveillance would also be eliminated.
* Based on experience with the cigarette tax, total revenues of $1.5 - $2.5 billion might ultiimately be realized.
* Based on experience with the wine industry, the total economic activity generated by legal marijuana could be nearly four times as great as retail sales, around $12 - $18 billion. Amsterdam-style coffeehouses would generate jobs and tourism. If the marijuana industry were just one-third the size of the wine industry, it would generate 50,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages, along with additional income and business tax revenues for the state.
* Industrial hemp could also become a major business, comparable to the $3.4 billion cotton industry in California. [Same Source]