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Why Ending Cannabis Prohibition Makes Sense

Why Ending Cannabis Prohibition Makes Sense

The call for legalized cannabis nationwide has been heard for some time, and the numbers, facts and figures revealed in recent years are making it even tougher for naysayers to effectively argue against it.

The benefits of making cannabis a legal, taxable substance are abundant. With states like Washington, Colorado and Alaska decriminalizing it entirely and reaping a variety of financial and economic benefits as a result, it is time for the rest of the nation, including those who do not personally engage, to reconsider America’s stance on marijuana.

Below are no-nonsense reasons why legalizing cannabis makes sense for everyone.

Slash Drug Cartel Revenue and Power

american-cannabis-changing-global-trade-3

With a quarter of the population freely admitting to having used marijuana at some point and the federal government reporting that about 15 million Americans engage at least once per month, there is zero indication of an industry slowdown anytime soon.

Until recently, much of the supply of marijuana in the U.S. had entered through networks run by Mexican drug cartels, and the cartels were raking in numbers like $64 billion a year in untaxed income. Legalizing marijuana reduces the power of the cartels, lowers associated crime and gives the government a considerable stream of revenue to use toward any number of necessary expenditures.

Create Numerous New Jobs and Career Opportunities

States that have already seen marijuana legalized are reaping the benefits in the form of an array of new jobs and career paths for residents. Beyond staffing dispensaries, the industry requires growers, budtenders and administrative and clerical business professionals in order to run efficiently.

Start-up companies offering everything from apps that help users find legal cannabis dispensaries to marijuana-tourism excursions are cashing in, and others are starting to recognize industrial hemp for additional uses like making paper, oil and plastic.

Economy and Public Health

colorado marijuana revenue

Despite legalization in some states, the marijuana industry operates largely as a cash-only business. Because it is still illegal federally, banks and credit card companies are generally unwilling to assist cannabis businesses, making taxable revenue difficult to track. Even with the industry dealing mostly in cash, legalized states like Colorado are reporting huge tax revenues from legal sales. Other states could reap the same benefits.

Legalizing and closely regulating the industry would eliminate this problem and would also help offset U.S. prison costs by minimizing the number of Americans incarcerated for drug offenses.

Discover Additional Medicinal Benefits

difference indica sativa

If marijuana were to be legalized nationwide, more of the plant’s medical benefits could be fully explored without fear of legal repercussion. Some prescription drugs containing cannabis have already been approved in countries like Canada, Sweden and Denmark.

If the U.S. were to follow suit, any number of additional medicinal benefits could be uncovered, giving much-needed to relief to millions of suffering Americans.

The cry for legalized, decriminalized marijuana is becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore as civic leaders, economists and politicians continue to tout its many benefits.

If decriminalized federally, each state could follow in the government’s footsteps and ultimately reduce crime, create new job opportunities, raise much-needed revenue and uncover countless new medical benefits for its citizens.

h/t: medium

Legal Weed Bankrupting Mexican Cartels

Legal Weed Bankrupting Mexican Cartels

As legalized marijuana continues to pick up steam in the United States, Mexico and it’s drug cartels are beginning to feel the effects. Larger quantities of marijuana are now being produced domestically, which is dropping the demand for Mexican weed.

Nabor is a 24-year-old pot grower in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa. In a recent interview with NPR, he told them, “Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90.” Now Nabor is only bringing in $30 to $40 per kilo, half or even a third of what he could have raked in before. Nabor says that if the United States continues the trend of legalization, it will put him out of business.

Nabor has been growing weed since the ripe age of 14. He talked with NPR about the dangers of growing the still-illegal plant, saying “If the army comes, you have to run or they’ll grab you.” And the risk is just barely outweighing the rewards already. Nabor says that when the $40 per kilo price drops to $20 per kilo, they will no longer be able to make money.

In a November 2012 study, the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness predicted up to a 30 percent decline in Mexican weed prices due to US decriminalization.

marijuana-farm-mexico

High times editor Daniel Vinkovetsky told NPR, “American pot smokers prefer American domestically grown marijuana to Mexican grown marijuana.” The higher quality, soaring potency, and legal access all factor in to why we’re buying American grown. The cheap Mexican weed is not cured or trimmed like American weed, is of much lower quality, and is usually compressed in order to smuggle it across the boarder.

Lawrence Payne, spokesman for the DEA says that it doesn’t stop there. Payne is reporting that now the demand has shifted, and some Mexican residents are purchasing legal weed from Colorado and smuggling it back south. The hope for Mexicans and Americans alike is to put an end to cartel violence. Whether US decriminalization can do that or not is still an open question.

via: NPR

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