In a New York Times op-ed back in May, Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie pondered the fiscal consequences of legalizing "victimless" crimes such as prostitution, gambling and drugs:
[Here's a way to] help the federal and state governments fill their coffers: Legalize drugs and then tax sales of them. And while we’re at it, welcome all forms of gambling (rather than just the few currently and arbitrarily allowed) and let prostitution go legit too. All of these vices, involving billions of dollars and consenting adults, already take place. They just take place beyond the taxman’s reach...
Turning America into a Sin City on a Hill could help President Obama pay for his ambitious plans to overhaul health care and invest in green energy. More taxed vices would certainly lead to significant new revenue streams at every level.
Now the folks at nightlife site Sloshspot.com have taken some data from NORML and various U.S. government agencies and created this: