Legalizing marijuana is a one of the most viable opportunities a state has for strengthening its economy and more state governments should follow Colorado’s lead.

At least that appears to be the opinion of financial expert Bruce Bartlett, who recently wrote an article in the Fiscal Times stating that not only does marijuana legalization come with a significant source of new income –- a projected $67 million in tax revenue in the case of Colorado -- but it also allows for major budget cuts, including a reduction in spending on law enforcement and prisons.

Bartlett, a man that held the position of domestic policy advisor during the Regan administration and worked as a Treasury officer for George W. Bush, says the financial gain that will manifest with the legalization of marijuana is immense and no secret to the majority of economists. He predicts that soon, more states will work up the nerve to jump onboard Colorado’s bountiful bandwagon.

“I don’t have the data to prove it, but I have long suspected that virtually every economist favors the legalization of marijuana and probably most hard drugs as well – regulated, as has long been the case with alcohol and, increasingly, tobacco. The famous economists Milton Friedman, Gary Becker and Robert Barro have written many columns advocating legalization and I am not aware of a single economic analysis in opposition to legalization,” he said.

However, even with a legion of financial geniuses giving Uncle Sam the proverbial thumbs up in regards to the legalization of marijuana, Bartlett says it is doubtful that prohibition will be eliminated on a federal level anytime in the near future.

“There is no movement in Congress to do so, and politicians such as former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, who supported the idea got nowhere. It will happen at the grassroots level in states that permit voters to propose initiatives and at the federal level only after we have enough years of experience to have a good understanding of the consequences. It may take another 20 years, but eventually it will happen.”

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.