California became the first state in the United States of America to legalize marijuana in 1996. It happened at a time when the state was struggling to address it’s swelling budget deficits, At which point California medical marijuana laws appeared as attractive ways of raising revenue for the state.
It is estimated that California marijuana laws bring at least $1.2 billion in tax revenues besides saving approximately $200 million in enforcement costs for arrests, prosecution, and prison. As a result, California medical marijuana laws also promote employment and spin-off industries such as coffeehouses, tourism and industrial hemp. Moreover, legalized status for marijuana encourages producers and consumers to choose the legal sector.
California marijuana laws also reduced infringements on civil liberties and racial profiling in the state because victimless crimes are a key cause of such police behavior. In addition to that, these laws generate budgetary savings for state and federal governments by allowing taxation of legalized sales and eliminating expenditures on enforcement.
Dan Steinberg, CEO of Vapor Genie, said, “If marijuana is legalized, we see the potential for significant growth in the smoking products industry. It will create a new market for our products. And of course legalization will attract investment that will fund further advances in smoking technology.”
The legalized status of marijuana in California was expected to bring an undesirable increase in its use, but the magnitude of this increase has been modest and in fact it has reduced over a period of time. Marijuana users who wanted to use it in the past but abstained because of prohibition are now consuming it responsibly and they are enjoying the drug without the fear of arrest or incarceration. It is also seen that most of the violence and corruption that used to characterize marijuana markets has been nullified by California medical marijuana laws. Furthermore, medical marijuana patients would no longer be suffering from legal limbo and social stigma associated with use of the drug for treating nausea from chemotherapy, glaucoma, or other conditions.
All in all, thanks to the California marijuana laws, marijuana has emerged as the answer to the economic misery faced by California and the benefits of legalizing marijuana in California have exceeded all expectations, thanks to the California marijuana laws.
 M. Atha and S. Blanchard, “Self-reported drug consumption patterns and attitudes towards drugs among 1333 regular cannabis users,” Published by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit 1997. Cited in Leslie Iversen, The Science of Marijuana, Oxford Press. 2000, pp. 217-9.
 Caputo and Ostrom, “Potential Tax Revenue from a Regulated Marijuana Market”, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Oct 1994.
 D. Gieringer, “Economics of Cannabis Legalization,” in Ed Rosenthal, ed. Hemp Today, Quick Publishing, Oakland 1994.
 California Wine Institute, California Wine Industry Statistical Highlights, 2008.
 Crossroads Magazine (Masstricht), NIS News, May 5, 2008.