Derek Thompson interviewed Joe Mathews of the New America Foundation about the money the California marijuana initiative might raise:

"A billion was one estimate [if you combine the income from taxes and the money saved in policing and public health enforcement]. Nobody knows the answer to that question. I don't think there's any great data there. California has a strong recent history of making wildly optimistic assumptions about these kind of programs. Most prominently, Schwarzeneggar made a big deal when he came in about expanding Indian gaming to make money, that it would bring in billions. It's raised negligible amounts."

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to