One of the biggest wars that has been plaguing the country for an unprecedented amount of time is the war on drugs. With governments using all means possible to fight the drug mafia, physicians and experts have emphasized the possibility of legalizing drugs that have certain health benefits. It might be hard to see a silver lining in this cloud, but there are several advantages to the legalization of certain drugs that can counter the harm brought by the rest.
Cannabis is one of the most widely used illicit drugs around the globe. It is most common among young adults or people who use it for medicinal purposes. Out of all the drugs that are involved in the above-mentioned debate, cannabis is the one fought for the most. Although recreational cannabis has been legalized in some parts of the world, including Uruguay, Canada, and the states of Colorado and Washington in the U.S., there is still a long way to go.
Cannabis legalization is not void of possible benefits. Here are some of the significant reasons to end cannabis prohibition.
Currently, those who use cannabis for health and therapeutic reasons fear the legal repercussions of doing so. Due to its prohibition in many states, the public is unable to use the drug freely for medicinal purposes. If anything, this should be a sufficient enough reason to legalize cannabis.
Cannabis comes with anti-anxiety, antipsychotic, anti-seizure, and many more properties that make it an effective and useful medical drug. When recreational cannabis is legalized, those who medicinally use cannabis will not have to live in fear anymore. Moreover, its legalization can also open doors for extensive research as well as discovering how to use it effectively for public health and more so, creating many more effective medicines. It will also result in the greater availability of the drug at local dispensaries.
End of the illicit cannabis market
The temptation to acquire illegal substances is almost always too strong for us. This is why most people use the wrong means to get them. Cannabis prohibition has resulted in a noticeable increase in the illicit markets used to sell it.
These markets are home to dealers who provide many addictive, possibly harmful, derivatives of cannabis to the unsuspecting person. Such dealers charge whatever rate they like, usually unreasonably high rates, with the product oftentimes not being of good quality.
When people cannot find cannabis in their local dispensaries, they are very likely to turn to illegal cannabis markets. Legalizing cannabis is a great way to end these shady markets when their regular (and even monitored) availability can render these businesses useless.
Moreover, not being legally regulated can indicate that the cannabis product is not meeting the proper health standards. The cannabis found at illegal markets usually does not undergo any tests or purity checks, which increases contamination risks. Cannabis legalization will help overcome this issue by legally regulating cannabis that meets proper health standards.
Illicit cannabis growth is harmful to the environment as well. Growers can sometimes use banned or outdated products and end up dumping hazardous waste in public areas. Regularly maintained checks on the cannabis growth sector can ensure environment-friendly methods and procedures.
Increased Tax Revenue
The states of Colorado and Washington can attest to cannabis legalization helping governments increase tax revenue. Both states regulate cannabis legally, and their tax revenues have increased significantly over the past few years. In 2021, Washington state collected $559.5M revenue on legal cannabis, according to the Washington State Treasurer. Meanwhile, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado accumulated a tax revenue of $423M on legal cannabis.
These numbers are evidence that cannabis legalization can provide exceptional benefits to the economy. According to New Frontier, a cannabis analytics company, cannabis legalization on the federal level could generate $106B in federal tax revenue by 2025.
Job and income opportunities
Correlating with the above-mentioned point, governments that have legalized cannabis could set up dispensaries and growth centers that will require labor and staff. This will result in increased job opportunities. Staff personnel can be hired to work for cannabis industry processes, including growing, distributing, and selling cannabis products.
Moreover, job opportunities will also surface in secondary industries indirectly linked with cannabis regulation. These industries include the software and IT industry, construction companies, and financial services, among many others.
When cannabis is legally regulated, interested investors can see an increase in their income with the industry’s growth. Cannabis legalization will also make way for the cannabis companies to list their stocks freely on different exchanges, capitalize on their growth and attract various investors.
Critics have all the reasons to oppose the idea of legalizing cannabis on the federal level. However, the benefits of cannabis legalization are being widely acknowledged and recognized, with more and more states making their way to end prohibitions on the drug. There are numerous reasons to consider cannabis legalization on a federal level, and we can see this happening in the coming years.