Why marijuana should be legalized
The US has a long and complicated history of marijuana.
American colonists’ hemp used to be converted from a cash harvest to a controlled drug, and now the circle is full again as a cash harvest. Although cannabis growth is no longer for ropes, paper, and cloth, but is now for the medical drug and recreational drug market.
The criminalization of marijuana in the US resides in racism and government propaganda aimed directly at black and Mexican communities, depicting drug use as a threat to civilized behavior. Aside from these fears and rhetorics, there are three main cases in favor of cannabis legalization: economic and medical benefits and the failure of the ban.
The economic case for legalizing marijuana,
We don’t have to go very far back in time when marijuana legalization seemed a distant dream. Back in 2009, then-President Barack Obama giggled at an online town hall event when asked for his thoughts on legalizing the drug before saying he didn’t think it was “a good strategy to grow our economy.” A quick report through 2020 and a recent report from reportlinker.com predict that the legal marijuana market size in North America is projected to reach $ 104.9 billion by 2027. On November 6, 2012, the same night Obama was re-elected for a second, the US states of Colorado and Washington passed laws to legalize cannabis. Since then, other states have legalized the drug for recreational use, which together make up about 29% of the country’s adults. While state after state has a more liberal view of cannabis, its status under federal law remains unchanged.
Leafy reported to Whitney Economics in 2019 that legal cannabis created 211,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. 64,000 of these jobs were created in 2018 alone. It was one of the fastest growing sectors of the job market. The legal cannabis workforce grew 21% in 2017, 44% in 2018 and an expected 20% in 2019. Furthermore, these are not low-paying, low-skilled jobs. Glassdoor data showed those employed in the cannabis industry earn 11 percent above the US median salary of $ 52,863. There are also all of the extra jobs this industry supports, like those providing the cannabis growers with irrigation and lighting systems, those working in logistics and delivering orders, and a lot more.
Of course, it’s not just jobs, the legalization of cannabis has allowed states to levy taxes on this new industry. In 2017, Washington paid an estimated $ 319 million in taxes. California was not far behind at an estimated $ 300 million, and Colorado benefited from cannabis tax revenues of around $ 266 million. All of the pot money can be put to good use to open schools, fund scholarships, and improve community resources.
Whether you’re for or against the legalization of marijuana, most will admit that the ban didn’t restrict access to and use of cannabis. It’s like America has forgotten the lessons of the 13 year alcohol ban. The unintended black market of organized crime and the increased use of liquor. You can mirror the same in the marijuana ban, organized gangs that sell stronger strains of marijuana. It is estimated that 22 million Americans use cannabis every month. Almost all of the evidence shows that adult marijuana use is safer than alcohol use.
The ban alone was responsible for the simple possession of more than 550,000 arrests a year. This is more than the number of arrests for all violent crimes in the same period.
It is needless and needless to emphasize what already overburdened and underfunded law enforcement agencies are. The arrest numbers are disproportionately directed towards the poor and colored communities in the country. Black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Americans, although usage rates are similar. It contributed significantly to the mass incarceration in the United States. This only exacerbates poverty and other problems such as access to health care. Not only is the law unjust, it has done more harm to communities and public health than marijuana itself.
The medical case for legalizing marijuana
Compared to the harm caused by overuse of opiates and alcohol, marijuana is relatively safe for adults.
It’s no secret that the US is going through an opioid crisis. In 2018 alone, it is estimated that over 67,000 people died from overdoses, with two in three involving an opioid or an opioid-like prescription drug such as fentanyl. It is a leading cause of injury-related death. From 1999 to 2018, over 750,000 people died from drug overdoses. Unlike opioids, according to the CDC, you are unlikely to ingest a lethal dose of cannabis. Moving away from dependence on dangerous and addictive opioids can help reduce people’s dependence on these drugs, eliminate a number of undesirable side effects associated with long-term opioid use, and would be beneficial for both consumers and consumers affordable and sustainable Medicare and Medicaid.
It should be noted, however, that marijuana may not be safe for everyone. For minors and those who are still developing, cannabis use can negatively impact neurocognitive development. It clearly requires that more research be required of what would be easier and more likely to be studied under legalization.
Today, more than two-thirds of the US states have laws that allow the use of medical marijuana. Marijuana has more than 100 active components known as cannabinoids. The two most important are THC and CBD. While THC is the psychoactive ingredient primarily responsible for the euphoric high, CBD brings many health benefits. The CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in the body, and a lot of research is needed to determine exactly how this works. As we learn more about it, it will pave the way for an increasing number of treatments and therapies.
Currently, medical marijuana is used to treat many diseases such as PTSD, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease to name a few. Unlike synthetic drugs, cannabis comes from a naturally occurring plant that, when required by law, improves quality production and standardizes the overall quality of the final product. Whether it’s CBD oil or dry herb, customers can count on a safe, regulated, and tested source of marijuana for treatment or for a growing number of diseases. That must be good, right?
Thanks to the success of the cannabis industry in states like Colorado and Washington, many adults in the United States have chosen to legalize cannabis. A 2019 survey found that 59% of respondents were in favor of legal recreational and medical use. Another 39% agreed that it should only be legalized for medical use, while only 8% said the drug should not be legal.
Legalizing cannabis would have many advantages. When asked, those who support cannabis legalization say it would reduce the number of people incarcerated and save millions of taxpayers the money they spend on incarceration in prisons. It would save law enforcement billions of dollars each year and free them to focus on crimes where there is a victim. This would significantly reduce the black market and criminal aspect of drug production and distribution, and take money away from the criminal gangs often used to aid more violent crimes. This could help revolutionize the healthcare industry, break away from addiction to opioids and big drugs, and take a more holistic approach to treatment. Add to this the tax revenue and job creation in the cannabis industry, which looks like a win-win situation.
The economy is surging from the lockdown and restrictions imposed to fight COVID-19. With a bit of luck, states will open up again to examine the benefits of this growing industry and to regulate cannabis use by law in order to generate much-needed economic stimulus through tax revenues and jobs. An industry valued at over $ 50 billion in 2020 can make a positive contribution to the recovery. There may be a new green wave this November, similar to 2016 when eight states passed legalization measures. Successful election initiatives could negatively impact other states as they see the benefits of neighboring states that have legalized cannabis. Keep an eye on South Dakota, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Arizona for cannabis legalization due in November. For more information on this state’s legalization campaigns on leafy.com, click here. There you can read information about the bills and what they mean in each state if they are passed.