Why Cannabis Should Be Legal
written by: Patrick Thompson
Cannabis legalization has come a long way. Each day America gets closer to nationwide legalization. Some states have already chosen to fully legalize marijuana while others are taking small steps toward legalization such as decriminalization. States that have decided to legalize have received numerous financial and economic benefits as a result.
Yet the impact of marijuana legalization goes further than just financially and economically benefiting a state. Here are a few more reasons why cannabis should be legal in the United States.
Weakening The Cartel
According to Norml, nearly 100 million Americans have used marijuana; it is the third most popular recreational drug in America behind Alcohol and Tobacco. It is estimated that 14 million people use marijuana regularly despite the laws against its use.
Most of these cannabis users buy their cannabis illegally on the black market. A significant amount of the marijuana supply in the United States enters the states through the Mexican drug cartels; which currently earn 64.34 billion dollars in sales from their United States consumers. Legalizing marijuana eliminates the need for users to purchase on the black-market.
This weakens the Cartels control of the market and results in a decrease of their power. In return crime associated with the marijuana black market will be reduced and the United States government will have a new source of revenue that can be invested or used toward a number of government expenses.
Legalization Creates Jobs
States that have legalized marijuana have opened up a tremendous amount of jobs and careers for citizens. The cannabis industry requires an array of positions that vary from specialized jobs particular to the industry such as a trimmer, to business professionals such as accountants. The cannabis industry even segues into other industries, such as the tourism industry; Tourist locations that are marijuana friendly have opened up many accommodations that have spurred job creation. Legalization has also opened up job opportunities for hemp producers. In a legal state hemp can be produced and used for many purposes such as being turned into cloth, paper, rope and many more products.
Economy and Public Safety
Because Marijuana is still federally illegal, the cannabis industry is forced to operate on cash only. This makes the taxable revenue for a company in the cannabis industry hard to track. However states that have chosen to legalize marijuana are reporting massive tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana. Legalizing marijuana also lowers prison costs by reducing the number of Americans incarcerated for drug offenses.
Research and Medical Benefits
If Marijuana were legal on the federal level, it could be researched in labs and clinical studies can be done without legal backlash. If the United States were to approve prescription drugs that contain cannabis like Canada, Sweden, and Denmark have already done we would see the undiscovered medical benefits of cannabis become known.
It is becoming more and more difficult to refute an argument for marijuana legalization, at the very least for marijuana’s medical purposes. If legalized federally the United States would see a raise in revenue, new job creation, reduced crime, and unknown medical benefits surface to the community. All of which are benefits that only increase the welfare of a nation.