Cost of Marijuana Prohibition in U.S. More Than NASA Budget

Cost of Marijuana Prohibition in U.S. More Than NASA Budget

The U.S. government would rather arrest you for consuming cannabis than explore the great unknown.

According to Jeffrey Miron, a senor lecturer at Harvard University, the U.S. spent (and wasted) roughly $20 billion in 2013 to enforce cannabis prohibition.nasa This is despite the policy being an undeniable failure, with black-market criminals running rampant and no decrease in usage rates in sight.

On the contrast, the U.S. has decided that some of the staples of America – such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – deserve to lose funding. In 2013 the budget for NASA was set at 17.7 billion – $1 billion less than their budget for 2010, and roughly the same as their budget for 2009. This indicates that, to the tune of over $2 billion, the U.S. considers cannabis prohibition to be a bigger priority than NASA. Nearly 50 years after man walked on the moon, the U.S. finds throwing people in prison for consuming nature more important than continued exploration.

Although one could argue that these two budgets (that of cannabis prohibition, and that of NASA) aren’t connected, in a large way, they are. $20 billion is nothing to scoff at, and its usage could have intense real-world applications; whether or not an end to cannabis prohibition would mean an increase in NASA’s budget would be up to lawmakers – and some (including a portion of the public) would argue against it – however, it gives a clear example of how ridiculously intertwined the U.S. has become with this prohibition; as they lower the budget for national icons like NASA – which was once an internationally vaunted institute – they continue to maintain and in some instances raise the budget used to harass nonviolent citizens who decide to use a nonlethal plant.

It’s well past time we end this insane prohibition, and begin to use that money for more important things – whether it’s space exploration, or something else like improving a diminishing education system.



  • Greg
    June 24, 2013

    If the government made decisions in the best interest of the people, marijuana would already be legal. Unfortunately, the government is bought and sold by large corporations whose primary function is to maximize profit. Big pharma, alcohol and tobacco, and the private prison-industrial complex view marijuana as competition and have decided it’s best to keep things the way they are. And so it will stay that way until the people either rise up and demand change, are allowed to vote on the matter, or there is suddenly enough cash and lobbying power on pro-legalization side to do something about it. Besides, the drug war has accomplished exactly what it was created to do. As Nixon once said, “you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to”. Maybe once people see the drug war as what it is – a civil rights issue – things will change.

  • Prof. DJ Chamberlain
    November 15, 2013

    And this is why I had to leave NASA and form the High Altitude School of Hydoponics (HASH). Now were Growing!

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