Seeing more $2 bills lately? Could be because of a campaign by marijuana advocates

Jul 15, 2013

Organizers of a campaign hope you notice more $2 bills in circulation.
Credit U.S. Government / Wikipedia

  Last Wednesday, medical marijuana groups started a campaign that they hope will shed light on the economic impact of the marijuana industry.

They want supporters of medical marijuana and cannabis legalization to spend at least one $2 for every cash purchase.

Organizers hope that placing more $2 bills in circulation will show the economic impact of medical marijuana.

And the economic impact is more sizeable than one would think. According to Bill Laitner at the Detroit Free Press, there are 130,000 registered medical marijuana users in Michigan.

Laitner’s report highlighted statistics about the economic impact of marijuana usage according to the RAND Corp. think tank:

According to a study released this year by several researchers, including one from the prestigious RAND Corp. think tank in Santa Monica, Calif., Americans who use marijuana — both legally and illegally — spend about $30 billion per year just on the drug itself.

“Michigan has slightly over 3% of the U.S. population, so that should mean that Michigan’s marijuana users currently spend about $945 million a year on marijuana,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project.

Harvard researcher Jeffrey Miron found that in 2008 dollars, Michigan could see about $96 million in tax revenue from taxing and regulating marijuana, according to O’Keefe, a native of Grosse Pointe Farms.

- Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom