Legal pot could net nearly a half billion dollars for the Israeli government, says a new report from the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.
"Recognizing the enormous financial gains that would come from legalization demands that the government take a serious look at the proposal to legalize cannabis use,” survey co-author Yarden Gazit told JTA.
The report found that Israeli potheads spend over $700 million annually on the forbidden flower. If the Israeli government regulated that industry, the tax revenues would be over $250 million, with another $200 million in law enforcement cost savings, according to the study.
Israel has long maintained a medical cannabis program, with over 11,000 patients holding pot prescriptions in the country. Still, the report suggests that nearly two-thirds of Israelis oppose marijuana legalization, with only a quarter of respondents supporting the idea.