There are plenty of reasons why people want to legalize weed. And there of plenty of reasons why people want cannabis to remain criminalized.
The reality, however, is that there are several distinct — and rather obvious— economic benefits of legalizing weed. These benefits are already noticeable in states that have already legalized recreation cannabis, like Colorado and Oregon.
Let’s jump in and take a look at some of the most compelling economic reasons to legalize weed.
Revenue, Revenue, Revenue
We’ll start by stating this point plainly. Based on recent estimates, legalizing marijuana in the United States could raise more than $131 billion in tax revenue.
This data was compiled by an organization called New Frontier Data that specializes in vetting and analyzing unbiased data in the cannabis industry. Although tax rates are always subject to change, but clearly the data shows the government could benefit from billions of dollars they are currently completely missing out on.
An Eye On Employment
In states where cannabis is legalized, one of the biggest benefits has come in the form of reduced unemployment rates. For example, Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. As of 2015, the state’s newest industry had generated $2.4 billion in economic activity and a whopping 18,000 new full-time jobs.
From farmers and trimmers to dispensary staff and budtenders, legalization means more jobs for people handling and selling weed — and that’s just the people directly handling cannabis. One of the added benefits of legalized cannabis is the industries and businesses that pop up to support the farms and needs of retail organizations, including insurance and technology firms.
Lower Law Enforcement Costs
It's no secret that the war on drugs has been costly and less than effective. With prisons across the country facing overcrowding and federal marijuana enforcement costing more than $3 billion a year according to the American Civil Liberties Union, decriminalizing weed could drastically reduce government spending, not including court costs.
What are your thoughts on legalization? Let us know.