Profits that would be reinvested and recycled in legal economic activities
This may not be the time to talk about it, or it may be the right time. The economic crisis that accompanies the emergency of the coronavirus and which will inevitably have consequences in the months to come in our country, will require structural responses. Now is the right time for the issue of cannabis legalization to be approached seriously and responsibly, and seen for what it is: an opportunity to create new businesses and jobs, and to take power away. economic to the mafias.
According to the National Anti-Mafia Directorate, the drug market in Italy is worth 30 billion per year. Profits that would be reinvested, recycled, each year to a large extent in legal economic activities. Drug traffickers are already among the major shareholders of the licit economy operating in the sun. 30 billion represents the total value of national agricultural production and almost half of the supply chain of the Italian automotive sector. This means that the mafias are investing in the legal market, endangering competition and the structures themselves of liberal democracies.
And that is even more threatening in a moment of fragility like the one we are going through. The risk is that of ending up in a system in which the goods and services that we will buy, the supermarkets where we will go every day, the restaurants where we will eat, the work we will have, will be largely provided by the establishment of criminal associations. Cannabis is the least dangerous narcotic substance and its massive use - at least 6 million Italians consume it - is comparable to alcohol and tobacco.
Legalization would be a common sense act that would greatly benefit our economy. The estimates are different, because it is a hidden phenomenon, but from legalization we would have tax revenues of at least 3 billion euros per year (as reported by Professor Marco Rossi, the one of the leading experts in the field, before the House Justice Committee just a few weeks ago). ). To the tax revenue from the collection of sales taxes, it is necessary to add the tax revenue from taxes on the income of employees in the sector (still according to the estimates of Prof. Rossi, the income tax for the use of around 350 seasonal workers and café employees).
Finally, to these figures must be added the savings that the state would derive from repression. Indeed, cannabis is not only the least dangerous substance but it is also, paradoxically, the most sought after (only one figure: it covers 96% of seizures). The crackdown on the cannabis market costs at least $ 600 million a year between police spending, trials and prisons. In short, can we make a moment of difficulty the opportunity to make a courageous choice, useful for justice but also for the economy of our country? We really should. And we don't have a lot of time to think about it.