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February 2004
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Your tax dollars at work

TalkLeft reports that the cost of prosecuting Tommy Chong for making bongs was $12 million. This comes by way of Chong’s attorney who got the information from the government prosecutors.
It’s outrageous, but not particularly surprising. The amount of tax money that’s thrown away in this drug war would probably be enough to end world hunger.
But let’s just look at the cost of prosecuting Tommy for making some pipes:

  • $12 million would pay for treatment for 3,500 drug addicts for an entire year.
  • $12 million would pay for enough needle exchange programs to prevent 1,258 HIV infections.
  • $12 million as a direct grant to me would stimulate spending in my household and help the economy.

Got any other ideas of what we could do with $12 million? Leave them in the comments.
Update: Some additions:

  • It would also provide 1,000 AIDS victims antiretroviral drug therapy for a year [David]
  • 12 million would also buy approximately one million large pepperoni pizzas with side orders of cheesy dots from Domino’s.[David]
  • After listening to All Things Considered tonight, I’ll also add that $12 million would pay to add new technology that prevents fuel tanks from exploding to 48 passenger jets.

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