Legal Marijuana in Alabama = $130,000,000

Drug reform activist Loretta Nall thinks marijuana could make $130,000,000 for the state of Alabama.Drug reform activist Loretta Nall thinks marijuana could make $130,000,000 for the state of is carrying the story about how much money California would make if they go through with legalizing and taxing marijuana for adult use. The California estimate given by their Board of Equalization is $1.4 BILLION dollars.

That’s a bunch of cash. That got me wondering about how much money Alabama would rake in if we legalized and taxed the sale of marijuana to adults at the same rate California plans to. Here is what the numbers look like.

The number of +18 marijuana smokers in Alabama is estimated to be 392,032 or 11.25% of the voting age population. That number is obtained by looking at the SAMSHA chart on substance use in Alabama in the past month and multiplying 11.25% times the voting age population of Alabama as of 2006 which is 3,484,729.

Next we look at the SAMSHA chart for California and see that 16.97% of +18 age group used marijuana in the past month. We multiply that by California’s voting age population which is 24,650,185 and get 4,183,136.

Next we divide

Current marijuana users in AL (392,032) divided by current CA users (4,183,136).

This gives 9.3 percent of CA’s marijuana using population.

0.093 x $1.4 billion = $130 million (and change).

That is not counting the money that would be made by putting Alabama farmers back to work or cottage industry grows that would spring up across the state, or the money that would be generated in new business that cater to the marijuana industry like pipe shops/smoking accessories, munchie outlets, places to congregate and smoke (think vapor/smoke bars) an increase in fertilizer and other farm equipment sales, marketing, packaging. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars we would save in enforcement costs, incarceration, courts, etc..etc

I’d like to be able to crunch the numbers on how much Alabama spends on enforcement costs but those aren’t available. The ALDOC doesn’t break down inmates convicted of drug offenses by drug. I hear the Sentencing Commission has those numbers but they won’t come off them. We know that 30% of all Alabama inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses. If all of those were for marijuana we would save $117,000,000 on top of the $130,000,000 we’d make by legalizing it for adult use.

However, we do know the number of Alabamians arrested statewide for marijuana for the year 2002. That number is 10,272. That is only 2.6% of the total number of estimated marijuana consumers in Alabama. All those millions and millions of dollars pumped into arresting marijuana users and the cops can’t even make a dent in it. 2.6% is not even a drop in the bucket.

The war on marijuana consumers is a SHAM! Let’s end it.

Loretta Nall is an political activist, former Alabama Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidat, and longtime contributor to Cannabis Culture and Pot-TV. Check out her blog about drug policy reform, politics, medical marijuana and more at



  1. Anonymous on

    i think we need to start a group to legalise Marry Jane in Birmingham al and make a paticion. i think if we make this group known and big we night be able to start something i think that the U.S.can bennafit a lot from mary jane it can make so many things from gas to lotion to meds. i just think if we make a group and try to expand it maby we can get more states involved. from personal experince marry jain saved my life i could not ever eat and docs could never tell me why i was not getting hungrey i would go days without eating and not even relise it i didnt waigh but 98 lbs when i was 18 when i started using mary jane i got better verry quick and made my add better and all my pains go away. i also use it when i get sick insted of taking meds it always helps me get better and there are not any sceary side affects. i just wish some ppl would open there eyes to it and see how it could maby help there lives.

  2. Karizmatik1 on

    Rock On, Loretta!!! I strongly support you. Thanks

  3. i have a woody on

    not to mention all the farming and industry linked to hemp products

  4. Joshua Earp on

    Keep it going Loretta! I’m originally from Tennessee and we have the same issues. I moved out to California not to long ago. There are so many hydroponics shops, coffeeshops, dispensaries, and the like. It is a thriving business out here. The south should be doing the same thing. You said that it would put a lot of farmers back to work, but it would also allow a lot of the old school moonshiners to be able to make a living legally by growing cannabis. This should be something that should be on the agendas of every state in the south, but it won’t likely happen due to the demon news media portraying cannabis users like drug addicts of the lowest order. But we can always hope!

  5. greg williams on

    Howdy Loretta,

    Haven’t seen you in San Francisco lately.
    You and i met when you spoke here a few years back and my bubble hash, pipe and chuck taylor high-tops ended up on pot-tv. I believe some of it made its way to your head as well. My claim to fame. lol

    We hope you are well, your family is well, and keep the groove groovin’

    greg williams

  6. FlyingGoat on

    Excellent article, Loretta. When we finally get our bill passed, it really WILL be Sweet Home Alabama.

    Keep up the good work & give me a call sometime…

  7. Anonymous on

    Good to hear from you Loretta. We all would benifit from leaglization,but its going to be a long road. We coould also get our fuels from cannabis. w