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Marijuana should be legal

Benefits of legal marijuana

By The Home VlogPublished 4 years ago 6 min read

I took sometime to do research and write about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. To be more familiar with the topic I included some background of the history of marijuana. I hope you enjoy reading this article!

Marijuana is also known as cannabis, pot, or weed, which are the most popular names that this plant has. Back in 500 BC in Asia, ancient cultures grew marijuana to use it as medicine; marijuana used by ancient cultures had very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical responsible for marijuana’s effects on the human system. Cannabis plants originally evolved in Central Asia where Asians started using it to make clothing, paper, sails, and ropes; seeds were also used as food. Later on, the plant was introduced into Africa, Europe, and lastly the Americas. Marijuana was widely grown throughout colonial America because it was a fast-growing and easy-to-cultivate plant. Early colonists in America used to grow cannabis for textiles and ropes. Back then marijuana wasn’t criminalized; it started being criminalized in America during the 20th century due to political and racial factors (“Marijuana”). Since then marijuana had been looked at as a highly addictive drug and been related to crime too, but that has changed in recent years because it seems that with the pass of time Americans have become more friendly with marijuana. In a report done by Hanna Hartig and A.W. Geiger where they analyzed a survey done by the Pew Research Center, they show evidence that more people are becoming more open-minded towards marijuana. Around 62 percent of Americans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana; this 62 percent is mainly composed by Millennials (74%), but also we can see Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) as supporters for the legalization of marijuana (Hartig and Geiger). More acceptance for marijuana is also shown in how states have been legalizing marijuana for medical use and even for recreational use. For example, California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical means in 1996. In addition, Colorado and Washington became the first two states in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012; in fact, by that time only 18 states had legalized marijuana for medical use, including Colorado and Washington. Over the course of 7 years, 15 more states legalized marijuana for medical use. A 2019 report states that the U.S. has 33 states that allow sales of marijuana for medical means and 11 that allow it for recreational use (“Legal medical marijuana”). Clearly, marijuana is popularly accepted and approved at this point, so it should be federally legalized because it would also create a lot of jobs and states a lot of tax money.

Marijuana was first used in ancient Asia

Tax revenue is a notable benefit that the government and the states will get from legalizing marijuana. When we talk about legalizing marijuana, we can’t ignore the fact that it would be a good contribution for tax money. A lot of states have elevated their expectations towards marijuana after seeing some reports from states that have already legalized it; they (states that still haven’t legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use) have seen the success of taxing legal marijuana. Some of those convincing numbers were shown in a report done by Mrinalia Kirshna which report she titled “The Economic Benefits of Legalizing Weed”. In this report, Kirshna tells us that Colorado and Washington are states where cannabis is legal for both recreational and medical use. In fact, in these states the sales of marijuana have been better than expected; during 2015 in Colorado more than $135 million in taxes and fees were collected. The total sales for that year were around $996 million. More recently in 2018 all six states reporting cannabis revenue reported that there were more excise taxes on cannabis than alcohol, including beer and wine. The excise tax revenue reported for cannabis was $1.04 billion; this tripled the amount reported for alcohol ($304 million), (David, Hill, and Phillips). Alcohol has been legal in the U.S. for more than 80 years; marijuana has been legal in some states for less than 10 years, and still, it has recently created more tax revenue than alcohol. These numbers show that marijuana can be more helpful than harmful to the U.S. economy if it’s managed the right way.

Image from ITEP

“A report from cannabis analytics company New Frontier suggests that federally legal pot could generate an additional $131.8 billion in aggregate federal tax revenue by 2025”, said Investopedia journalist Mrinalini Krishna. Such amount of money could be used for implementing education, scholarships to allow more students to attend college, roads, helping families that are in need, invest in technology, provide better services, better health programs, and many more things. Instead of spending billions trying to fight the illegal sale of marijuana the government and states could get a lot more benefits from legalizing it and taxing it.

Image from Drug War Facts

In addition, legalizing marijuana would create a lot more jobs in different areas and this will be a contributor to achieve the $131.8 billion in tax revenue expected by 2025. The legalization of marijuana is expected to rapidly boost employment rates in the United States. Gina Belli who works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant said “New Frontier estimates that, if marijuana were legalized today, roughly 782,000 new jobs would be created. Furthermore, they estimate that by 2025, that number would grow to 1.1 million”. The 782 thousand jobs that are expected to be created will not only specified in one area. It would create jobs for farmers, processors, and retailers; they will be the most important of the process because they would be the ones that get marijuana out in the market. Once marijuana is out in the market many cannabis businesses will benefit from it, and these businesses will create more jobs; for example, they will need people that run the inventory, a cashier, and most likely an accountant too to keep up with the sales. According to Gina Belli, consulting services, marketing companies, and accounting firms will also benefit by seeing an uptick in business. Marijuana could become the fastest-growing industry in the United States over the next decade according to Sean Williams, who specializes in the healthcare sector and investment planning. In fact, marijuana could be a major contributor to the creation of jobs in the United States. Also, marijuana has opened the market for investment and Brendan Kennedy, Michael Blue and Christian Groh have taken advantage of that. They invested in Tilray Inc, which is a Canadian pot firm. The success of marijuana in the market has recently been reflected in Tilray Inc. when its market value topped $21 billion. Max Brantley who is an Arkansas Times journalist said “The trio effectively owned about 45 percent of Privateer’s holdings in Tilray as of March 31, according to the cannabis company’s prospectus. Privateer’s stake in Tilray is now valued at $7.2 billion, giving each founder a net worth of at least $2.4 billion, assuming they hold equal stakes”. Not only does marijuana create jobs, but it also gives people the opportunity to start their own business. All of this leads to marijuana recently being one of the fastest growing industries and with it, it has brought more job opportunities for people and has open a new field for investment as well.

In conclusion, marijuana should be legalized to a federal level in the U.S. proven that it will create a lot of jobs and give the government and states a good amount of money. According to Liberty Vittert who is Professor of the Practice of Data Science at the Olin Business School at the Washington University; in 2018, the pot sales in Colorado topped $1.2 billion, $204,000 more than the sales in 2015 when they topped $996 million. Marijuana is becoming more popular with the pass of the years, and business and states have been benefited by it. In fact, marijuana has been creating more jobs and it has become a new source of tax revenue for states that have legalized it; marijuana has proven to be beneficial to the U.S. economy, so the question is, what is stopping us from federally legalizing marijuana?


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