Experts believe the cannabis industry in America could generate up to $130 billion annually in another three years. This substance remains the most commonly used drug in the United States, although it remains illegal in some states and at the federal level. The legalization of this substance for recreational use continues to march forward in many states, however, and many states have already taken this step.
Those states that have yet to do so may wish to consider the implications for their economies. Three years ago, America’s cannabis industry generated $46.2 billion. California alone brought in $345.2 million in tax revenue from the legal sale of this substance. This one fact is enough to have many states reconsidering their stance on cannabis. They see it can serve as an economic powerhouse that will create new jobs, allow for the establishment of new businesses, and create ripples across the state’s entire economy. Mina Guahi, cannabis finance executive, understands that cannabis will only increase in popularity in the coming years and explains why this is the case.
What the Future Holds
In addition to benefiting a state’s economy, the legalization of marijuana helps America’s economy as a whole. Experts believe it will do so by boosting taxes, along with real estate and tourism. For instance, taxes generated from the sale of cannabis can fund schools, veterans’ services, social services, and more. However, they also believe the industry could end up in crisis if the federal government doesn’t follow suit and make this substance legal. Sales went up during the pandemic and will probably increase in the coming months and years. People can only imagine what will happen if it is legalized nationwide.
When a state legalizes marijuana, it generates new taxes. Doing so brings in significant income in a short period. However, individuals convicted of a federal crime involving cannabis remain in jail today. Legalizing marijuana at the federal level would save money. Fewer people would remain in prison, and families would reconnect. Additionally, more people could fill open job positions. This benefits those businesses struggling to find employees today.
Individuals who currently purchase illegal marijuana would appreciate having this substance legalized at both the state and federal levels. They feel this would allow them to purchase higher-quality cannabis at a price similar to what they pay on the black market. However, it would be safer. There is a nationwide market for this drug, and the funds saved on housing prisoners convicted of a cannabis-related crime could be better used elsewhere.
The marijuana industry continues to create new jobs across the country. In fact, New Frontier believes this industry will account for one million new jobs by 2025. With more states legalizing this substance, the number could end up being much higher. Experts predict the labor income resulting from the new jobs will reach $3.5 billion.
A Reduction in Crime
The country continues to experience a rise in crime rates. Many individuals languish in prison today thanks to a marijuana conviction. Countless people believe legalizing marijuana will serve as the elusive solution to the decades-long war on drugs. In the past, people would sell cannabis and keep the profits for themselves. They weren’t taxed on this money. This encouraged people to engage in illicit acts, knowing they could make good money by doing so.
With the legalization of marijuana in many states, selling cannabis on the street isn’t as lucrative. As a result, many people will look for other ways to generate income, ones that often won’t lead to them ending up behind bars. Furthermore, individuals can purchase marijuana legally, so they won’t be risking time in jail or prison when they choose to use this substance. They will be safe visiting a dispensary to get the marijuana they desire.
Because of the decline in marijuana arrests, law enforcement has more time to clear other crimes. In fact, both Colorado and Washington witnessed a rise in their overall crime clearance rates following the legalization of cannabis in 2012. Motor vehicle theft and burglary clearance rates rose dramatically. In addition, legalizing this substance did not have a negative impact on the clearance rates for any particular crime type.
Smugglers will find the drug trade in America is less lucrative as a result of the legalization of marijuana. There will be less demand for illegal drugs coming across the border, and border towns will be safer for those who live there. Cannabis serves as the largest import in America for Mexican drug smugglers. When marijuana becomes legal, it becomes harder for the smugglers to operate in the United States, as the demand for other drugs declines. Fewer smugglers mean less crime and enhanced safety for everyone who lives in a border town.
The Drawbacks of Marijuana Legalization
However, the legalization of marijuana comes with negative effects men and women must know about. For example, smoking marijuana carries many of the same risks seen with smoking tobacco cigarettes. This includes damage to the user’s lungs, throat, and mouth. Children have easier access to marijuana when it becomes legal, much as they do alcohol today.
Researchers continue to look into whether a person, especially a child, is at risk of becoming addicted to marijuana. Furthermore, research has shown frequent use of marijuana leads to lower IQs and higher mental illness rates in children and young adults. Finally, the use of marijuana may lead to brain damage, and experts are still studying whether it serves as a gateway drug for heroin or other substances.
The legalization of marijuana comes with many benefits. From increased tax revenue to more jobs, people find their local area and the nation as a whole see positive results when cannabis is allowed for recreational and medical use. Crime rates decrease, fewer people go to jail, and crime clearance rates rise. Men and women need to take this into consideration when determining whether they support this action. Many people find they do when they learn the good the legalization of cannabis can do in their city, town, or state.