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
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
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
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.