Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Father's Predictions About the Lottery and Now Marijuana. He's Right Again!

My father was right, once again. My Dad was an interesting guy, when it came to anything to do with monetary numbers, he was an expert. Not to mention his ability to add, subtract, or multiply any set of numbers in his head.
He was a butcher on the lower east side of New York, and, in his time, he saw organized crime raking in large dollars from "the numbers". When I was in my late teens, sometime in the early 1960's, he told me that there is way too much money in "the numbers" for the government not to take it over one day. And of course, today there are government run lotteries for everything.
And, how much money are these lotteries worth to government. Florida just concluded their February, 2014 Revenue Estimating Conference, and published the following report available at

And, what they concluded was that revenues from lotteries, in the State of Florida alone are estimated at more than $3 Billion per year! YIKES. Or, if my Dad were alive today, he would have said, "Lotteries are a way for the government to steal from the poor". Alas, I'm afraid he was right.

So, what would he have said about the legalization of Marijuana. Ditto. For way to long the governments have been giving away way too many dollars to organized and sometimes disorganized crime (I'm talking here about Jessie Pinkman), for the sale of drugs.
And sure enough, in the U.S., state by state they are looking at the legalization of marijuana. So, what is that worth?
According to the budget proposal released last week by Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado expects to generate approximately $600 Million. And, Colorado is only the 22nd ranked State in terms of population. If they can rake in $600 Million, than imagine what the State of California, with over 6 times the population could be looking at. Simple math tells us that's over $3 Billion in annual revenue. And, neither of these figures even include the tax revenue from the business owners and employees involved in this new retail distribution venture.
And, what's happening in Canada with respect to marijuana. Medical marijuana is already legalized and production is beginning in earnest with the federal government estimating revenues to reach $1.6 Billion by 2024.
Is it too late to put my Dad up for a Nobel Prize in Economics?
On the non-medical front in Canada, The Liberals want to legalize it, but, the Conservatives are using that stance to call the leader unfit for the job of Prime Minister. So, it won't happen until the next election is over, and I suspect that regardless of which party is in power (I ignore the NDP, as does the rest of Canada), marijuana will begin its journey towards complete legalization.
In the meantime, just yesterday, Peter McKay announced that the Conservative Government is looking at potentially changing policy to allow police officers to issue tickets for marijuana possession. Now that's a clever way to be on both sides of the same issue. Rather than risk losing the entire Marijuana Nation vote to the Liberals, they are hoping to get some of it back through this measure.

In the meantime, ElliotSchillerBlog Industries has just invested Billions into the ZigZag paper company, the official supplier of these new marijuana tickets, which will not only be good enough to generate revenue for the government, but good enough to smoke. Good thinking Canada, and good thinking Blog Industries.

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