A bill set to go before the U.S. House of Representatives this week to federally legalize and tax cannabis would add billions in revenues and reduce prison costs over the next decade, according to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday.
Overall, the office said that it expects the proposed federal taxes included in the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to bring in $8.1 billion in revenue from 2022-2031.
CBO also look at the impacts of legalization on the prison system. “H.R. 3617 would federally decriminalize cannabis, expunge the records of people convicted of federal cannabis offenses, and require resentencing of some federal prisoners,” the report says. “As a result, CBO estimates, thousands of current inmates would be released earlier than under current law. In the future, decriminalization also would reduce the number of people in federal prisons and the amount of time they serve.”
It estimated that the policy chance would mean that time served in federal prison would be collectively reduced by 37,000 person-years for current and future inmates. CBO predicted that the Bureau of Prisons would save about $800 million because there would be fewer people in prison amid sentence reductions.
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