What else could we spend $42 billion each year on? Health insurance for kids? Better paid teachers? It's our choice.

Why $42 billion? Because that's what our current marijuana laws cost American taxpayers each year, according to a new study by researcher Jon Gettman. $10.7 billion in direct law enforcement costs, and $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues. And that may be an underestimate, at least on the law enforcement side, since Gettman made his calculations before the FBI released its latest arrest statistics in late September. The new FBI stats show an all-time record 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006, 43,000 more than in 2005.

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