Economic Benefits from the Legalization of Marijuana
Of all the debate, especially lately, revolving around the legalization of marijuana, an impact often overlooked is the economic effects such a large legislative change would bring. And when analyzed the most likely end result is that it would be one of positive reverberations.
The economic benefits of legalizing marijuana are larger than passing thought would give or even assume. The first action that would have to be done would be the release of people in jail for marijuana related charges, from dealers, traffickers, and users. If convicted for other drug charges, they stay, that’s another debate for another time.
Critics say that such a large scale change in legislature cannot be handled by the government over night. Correct, this is not a flip of the switch fix, but it would have to start somewhere. First benefit of this is the pressure release on the nation’s overcrowded prison system, immediate relief there. If the government does need more man power to handle the effort, pull from the rising unemployment pool. If the government wants to be the lead horse in our economic world then they can start the stimulus, sounds only fair right? These newly employed individuals then spend their money on all the usual goods the average citizen does, in turn benefitting the economy.
Legalization of marijuana should not stop at the consumption, but production as well, albeit it under much regulation. Marijuana can be turned into a regularly consumed, but regulated luxury good such as cigarettes and alcohol. This would create a spark of tangible growth for the weakened economy.
Facilities would be opened for the legitimate production of marijuana, creation of businesses and vendors that serve the needs of these facilities, and so on and so forth down the industrial line. This would bring about purchasing of materials, marketing investments, and potential large scale brand name marijuana vendors nationally.Its also importan that companies must stop drug testing their employees.
These businesses would be American based, paying American taxes. People aren’t potentially sending their money out of country where it fuels a drug lord’s terrorized ruling of an impoverished third world nation’s people. Most likely the sale would be regulated with a decided upon age limit around or the same as alcohol or tobacco.
Federal and local governments can reroute money from the war on marijuana and direct it elsewhere, such as our underfunded school systems and aging infrastructure. Less money may also be needed for the newly load-lightened prison system, with a sudden decrease in all the costs associated with keeping a person in prison.
Creation of marijuana bars would be one example of a business that could come about with the legalization of weed. One only has to look at Amsterdam’s growing economy to see the benefits. America is such a major nation it would not be labeled with a moniker such as ‘that place where weed is legal’ as some think of Amsterdam. The building of these bars or restoration of vacated buildings are obvious benefits which would resonate throughout local economies.
The medical industry, although generally seen as opponents of marijuana legalization, could even embrace the expanded acceptance, new opportunities and invest more research into the benefits of marijuana. Potential scenarios could be the breeding of the plants to target symptoms, as different weed has varying effects on the body.
Once again, this research could lead to the creation of facilities and jobs, all while promoting a safe, organically created substance. It would be beneficial for anyone who cannot afford prescription medicine. If the point of a medication is to alleviate symptoms, why not an already known, Earth made product.
If marijuana does this for someone, then it should be there option to choose the medicine that benefits them as they see best. It would be cheaper than pharmaceutical medication that regular kills people from overdoses.
There are many more benefits not touched on here, and that very fact shows the wide stretching positive economic effects that could potentially come about with the legalization of marijuana. America was founded on freedom of choice in our personal lives. And to deny another man something that grows from the Earth seems to go against a fundamentally understood concept around since our primitive days. Legalization of marijuana would not be a silver bullet aimed at stimulating the economy, but it would be another round in the clip this new administration is going to need.