Realizing the economic benefits of cannabis does not mean the road towards legalization will be easy to travel. There are medical and social issues brought up by detractors that should be taken seriously.
Factual evidence backed by science convinces critics about the benefits of cannabis. Non-legal states recognize this as four states approved full legalization and one state joined the medical states in 2020.
Still, cannabis is recognized as an illegal drug by the federal government limiting medical research and clinical trials. In time, there will be more compelling reasons to approve cannabis at a national level. At that point, the country can enjoy the full benefits of cannabis.
Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana
On 3 November 2020, Americans voted for Joe Biden as their new president. Simultaneously, the states of New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use. And Mississippi joined the medical marijuana states.
More and more states have changed their legal stand, realizing the economic benefits that marijuana offers. Legal states and the federal government will benefit from the big bucks for sanctioning the legal use of marijuana.
With the surging demand for marijuana dispensary supplies and its growing variety of by-products, this drug holds many benefits.
Impact on Tax Revenues
Records released by New Frontier Data show that full federal legalization of marijuana will generate a potential $105.6 billion in tax revenues. This will fall from the business tax revenues, the payroll withholdings based on the theoretical employment required to support the industry, and the 15% retail sales tax.
From Statista, the 2019 tax revenues collected from sales of the leading recreational marijuana states are as follows:
|TAX REVENUES IN MILLION U.S. DOLLARS
Enforcing marijuana laws cost the government billions of dollars annually. According to a 2013 report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) the U.S. government spent over $3.6 billion in 2010 enforcing marijuana possession laws.
Colored people were targeted indiscriminately, and it has done nothing to reduce the use of marijuana nationwide. This costly law enforcement sent innocent people and minor-related marijuana offenders serving long-term prison sentences. The negative economic impact on individuals, families, and communes can last a lifetime.
Removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I controlled substances will result in a considerable drop in court cases, fewer incarceration, and money saved.
Income and Jobs
About 1 million jobs are expected to be created by 2025 should marijuana be removed from the list of illegal drugs. Cannabusinesses will need people to cultivate the farm, manufacture products, deliver the goods, and man the dispensaries. Indirect services need to be filled-up like web design, software developers, construction companies, financing services, and more.
In 2019 over 211,000 full-time jobs were generated from the marijuana industry and considered the latest job creator in America. By comparison, there are 52,000 coal miners, 69,000 brewery makers, and 112,000 textile workers in the U.S. – legal cannabis tops them all.
Here’s a rundown of the jobs created in 2018.
|JOBS JAN 2018
|ADDED JOBS IN 2018
|TOTAL JOBS JAN 2019
There will be new markets for marijuana in 2021 with five states passing the ballot referendum for the legalization of marijuana. Other countries have changed their stance about marijuana and embrace the therapeutic and economic benefits it brings. The future seems bright with almost all indicators favoring the marijuana industry.
However, it is still considered a substance of abuse and illegal in the U.S. If marijuana will be removed from the list of banned drugs, companies can enlist on stock exchanges enhancing liquidity and attracting more investors. Foreign and local can include marijuana in their investment portfolios instead of turning to cannabis-friendly countries like Canada, Mexico, and Argentina, among others.
Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana
The debate over the legalization of marijuana has strong supporters on each side of the fence. The aye states took steps to legalize weed on a list of benefits while the nay states are holding on a list of disadvantages.
Pros of Marijuana Legalization
The benefits that are mentioned have been proven right by full legal states who went all-in proving the recreational and medicinal rewards of marijuana.
- Shrink the black market
According to a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report, total confiscation of illegal marijuana decreased by 35 percent from 2016 to 2017. Marking the same drop in the marijuana black market, and an even larger drop compared to previous years.
- Improved quality and safety control
Marijuana is monitored from seed to sales. Users are assured of quality products compared to street marijuana with unknown substances hidden. For our Canadian readers, Online Dispensary Canada offers many premium options for all your cannabis needs.
- Increased tax revenue
With anticipated year-on-year growth in sales, tax revenues from the sales will increase proportionately. The money can be used to subsidize public projects, repair roads, improve schools, and more.
- Decrease in gang-related violence
People who encounter injustice in legal states can go to the police and the court instead of vigilantism.
- Police and the court can concentrate on more serious crimes
Time spent handling minor marijuana crimes can be focused on more violent crimes.
Cons of Marijuana Legalization
These are the most common arguments presented by the other side to the legal sale of marijuana. There are no researches or clinical trials that can validate the claims.
- Marijuana is addictive
Opponents claim that marijuana is addictive like crack and meth. There are withdrawal symptoms from stopping marijuana use.
- Ill-effects of second-hand smoke
Just like cigarette smoking the non-smokers nearby will suffer negative effects from second-hand smoke. Only a cigarette with organic tobacco or tobacco with no additives can make it healthier or safer than other cigarettes.
- Decrease in mental health
Potheads suffer from limited blood flow to the brain, memory loss, schizophrenia, and depression.
- Lungs are at risk
The smoke from marijuana is deadlier than cigarettes since the smoke is taken deeper into the lungs and held longer.
- Alters perception
Alcohol alters perception so does marijuana. DUI of marijuana leads to impaired driving and the driver is at risk of getting involved in an accident.
- A gateway drug
People believe that marijuana users will progress to using stronger drugs like heroin and painkillers.
Vlad Hughes is a business development manager and digital marketer at CannabizSupply. He has over 5 years of experience in the cannabis industry, specialized in writing different educational guides on Marijuana packaging topics, cannabusiness digital strategies, laws etc.
Interesting Related Article: “How To Get A Job In The Cannabis Industry“