What are the Main Benefits of Cannabis Legalization?

The prohibition on cannabis has done nothing to stop the general population from smoking weed, but has legalization brought on the benefits that were expected? 

Photo 2fast4buds.com

Recreational cannabis legalization first became a reality in the USA way back in 2012, with both Colorado and Washington becoming the first states to make the switch. At the time, there were a bunch of advantages that were cited as reasoning behind the decision to let the population vote on whether to end the prohibition and allow consenting adults the choice on whether they wanted to legally consume cannabis.

At the time of writing, the number of recreational legal states now sits at 18 with medically legal states now at 37. There have also been recent moves at the federal level to make cannabis legal country-wide, with the House of Representatives recently passing a bill to federally decriminalize marijuana.

Cannabis seeds have never been more readily available, so let’s look into exactly how recreational weed legalization can benefit society as a whole.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OF LEGALIZING THE RECREATIONAL CONSUMPTION OF WEED?

1.    Cannabis Legalization Provides a Massive Boost to the Local, State, and Federal Economy

A 2018 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City stated that Colorado brings in over three times the tax revenue from recreational cannabis as it does from alcohol, with over $78 million in the first financial year after starting retail sales, and over $129 million the second fiscal year. That number exceeded $396 million in 2021, and that’s just in Colorado. In California, 2021 marijuana tax revenue was almost $1.3 billion.

The states are able to use this huge surplus to invest in tourism, schooling, health care, and aged care, etc.

2.    Legalization Leads to a Drop in Underage Usage and a Drop in Overall Crime in the Area

With legalization comes education, regulation, and extra scrutiny. Even though recreationally legal areas have a rise in shops that provide cannabis to the general public, these vendors are highly regulated. In a study by Washington University, researchers found that rates of consumption by 14 to 15-year-olds dropped from 9.8% to 7.3% in 2014/2016.

Crime rates in areas where recreational dispensaries are present have also been proven to drop quite significantly. Studies point to the fact that the population tends to consume less alcohol when legal weed is available, which unsurprisingly seems to directly correlate with a sharp drop in crime.

3.    It Frees Up Police Resources and Ends the Costly and Unnecessary Enforcement of Cannabis Laws

Jeffrey Miron, a leading Harvard University economist, has been quoted as predicting that up to $13.7 billion annually could be saved just by the end of cannabis prohibition enforcement.

This also frees up police, allowing them to focus on more serious crimes like violent offenses and sexual assault.

4.    Cannabis Legalization Would Put an End to Inherently Racist Policies

People of color have a much higher chance of being arrested and prosecuted, even though the rates of usage are almost identical with both the white and black populations. In the USA, a person of color has a 3.7 times higher likelihood of being arrested than a white person on cannabis charges.

Other supporting arguments for cannabis legalization are:

  • Legal cannabis is regulated, which makes it safer for consumers and allows consumers to access much more information on the product.
  • DUIs decrease.
  • It restricts the flow of money through the black market and into the hands of cartels.
  • It has less harmful health impacts than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are fully legal.
  • It creates a vast number of jobs.
  • Governments do not have the right to tell adults what they can and can’t consume.

Are there downsides to recreational cannabis legalization? 

Sure, every policy change comes with downsides, but in this case, the advantages outweigh the cons so heavily that it really makes zero sense to not make the switch.

Sources:

https://www.kansascityfed.org/denver/rocky-mountain-economist/rme-2018q1/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840#:~:text=More%20than%20300%20economists%2C%20including,current%20prohibition%20on%20the%20drug.

https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/un-report-on-racial-disparities/

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Cannabis consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide Federally Now!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national cannabis policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-cannabis, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Cannabis, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Cannabis possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through cannabis home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose cannabis, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Cannabis Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    The “War on Cannabis” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

    Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our yearly tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Cannabis”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. Especially now, due to Covid-19. It’s a no brainer.

    The Prohibition of Cannabis has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records. Especially, if they happen to be of the “wrong” skin color or they happen to be from the “wrong” neighborhood. Which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Cannabis is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

    The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less cannabis “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Cannabis Legalization Initiative!

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About the Author: Brian Novak