Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana in the U.S.A
Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana in the U.S.A
Legalization of marijuana has been a major controversial issue in the United States for a long time. The debate over this issue has been raised in many states including Colorado, California and New York and some parts of Europe such as Portugal. The legalization of marijuana has eliminated the black market of marijuana and the immense expenditure on drugs. Marijuana has many benefits to the economy and it has been used as a medicine for many years globally. In the Colorado states, it has benefited the entire region because it has been used as medicine. In Portugal and some parts of the United States, its legalization has led to reduction of national debt. Thus, the legalization of marijuana has led to diverse economic benefits especially increased employment, income generation and reduced federal deficits.
The legalization of marijuana in some parts of the United States has led to diverse economic benefits. First, legalization of marijuana has led to increased income generation through taxation of activities associated with marijuana. The illegal importation of marijuana drugs into the United States has contributed to a high generation of income going to criminals, killers and dangerous organizations. This is because some countries have not legalized marijuana thus those countries that have not legalized it smuggle the marijuana to the US because of the multi-million dollars earned from dealing with this business. The government earns a lot of money from taxes imposed on marijuana and this money is allocated to various departments such as education thus an economic benefit. Legalized organizations do not support the sales of marijuana to the minors because they understand that this drug is harmful to the developing bodies thus it is sold to responsible adults (Abadinsky and Abadinsky, 2008).
Nevertheless, the sale of legalized marijuana is a significant financial benefit to both private and public sectors. This is beneficial especially to those people who may choose to join the marijuana industry. The government of the United States taxes heavily the drug users and they use the money generated from taxations to help those who may need their help. The taxes generated from legalized marijuana are used to fund the programs of expensive drug treatment. Consequently, it is used to help people who may wish to quit from marijuana and other illegal drug activities. Consequently, the money generated from legalized marijuana can be used in defense sector (La and Rugh, 2005). For instance, the US can allocate money generated from taxation of marijuana in criminal defense sector. This will help the government to control the violence, organized crimes and prosecution of dangerous criminals.
The legalization of marijuana would reduce the federal deficits of the United States. The federal states are facing severe budget shortfalls and the national debt standard is ever increasing. The public and the politicians have expressed their concern about the issue of debt thus unconventional approaches for closing the fiscal gap has been solved through legalization of marijuana. This is because legalizing it may reduce the federal deficits through elimination of expenditures on the prohibition enforcements such as prosecutions, incarnations and capital sentences. Moreover, it will enable the government to divert the resources that could be spent on criminal cases to other sectors of the economy thus contributing to economic development. Consequently, it will allow governments to collect taxes on legalized sales of marijuana and use the money in other significant activities.
It has led to increased employment because many industries have been created for processing and manufacturing of the product. Many people are now employed in marijuana industries because it is legalized. In addition, medical marijuana has been legalized in fifteen states in the United States but this was only after new intense movements to passing of the law. Since its legalization, the marijuana drug has led to increased economical benefits to the residents of Colorado. There has been increased job creation that could have not existed due to hundred medical marijuana stores in Colorado. Besides job creation, the marijuana dealers are licensed to sell medical marijuana. Consequently, jobs were created for those residents who cultivated marijuana herb thus generating a lot of income for the residents in this state.
McCollum (2001) tries to argue on medical benefits of marijuana. He argues that marijuana is less dangerous to the body than the other drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol. Marijuana is a natural form of medicine and it is one of the safest therapeutically active substances used by people. In Portugal, marijuana was legalized because it is used as a pain reliever and it generates a lot of income to the economy. Moreover, any measure of coherent analysis of marijuana is usually used under a supervised routine of medical care. Marijuana would only become illegal in the US when alcohol poisoning is identified as a major cause of death and when premature deaths are attributed to cigarettes annually. Hence, even though it is legalized in some parts, people are not allowed to smoke it excessively because it may lead to unconsciousness or death. Even the heavy marijuana smokers does not use too much of this drug. However, it is beneficial because it relieves nausea for those people suffering from cancer.
Medical marijuana has been considered a significant pain reliever. For instance, many people who are suffering from chronic diseases often conclude that the cost is never a factor. When one is in much pain that he or she cannot perform the normal activities, the solution needs to be sought faster no matter the cost. This solution is to find out marijuana drugs because people believe that it works faster in relieving pain. However, even though is beneficial to the economy, it has a large negative impact to the well being of many Colorado residents. Even so, the medical marijuana has had an extreme positive impact to the Colorado economy (Boushey, 2010).
Marijuana legalization has been taken as one way of reducing the costs of spending on criminals. Many states such as Colorado invented the laws on the use of marijuana after generations of defending capital punishment in their states. The capital punishments were seen as a deterrent against violent crimes and post smokers were seen as more dangerous people to the society than the alcohol consumers were. All of a sudden, the economic crisis led to power brokers to consider dramatic changes in the criminal justice system. Initially, marijuana was seen as illegal to the society. However, the laws were imposed to defend the use of marijuana because the government wanted to reduce the costs of spending on criminals in jail. Thus, marijuana was legalized in order to cut costs on probation and parole systems for violating the laws. In Colorado, the government made a persuasive case for saving money through reducing the age of smoking. However, this issue has raised debate from the political and legal arena in the Colorado state.
The United States can revise its law by actually making the usage of marijuana legal. This is crucial because marijuana is a drug that has benefited many people. Although, it was banned in many states because it led to increased crime rates. This led to many people finding themselves behind bars as prisoners. It is important to make sure that the government does not involve itself with the issue of spending on prisoners. Moreover, holding prisoners is costly because it drains completely resources of the economy. Hence, the government will be forced to cut down on the cost of other things in order to maintain prisoners in jail in terms of basic needs (Rudolph, 2004). The fact that their basic needs such as food and shelter have to be met, the government will need to adopt legalization of marijuana in order to reduce these expenses.
Marijuana is used to manufacture depressants, which are used to promote the health of people in an economy. These depressants are crucial because they help patients to deal with stress and depression (Ruschmann, 2004). Marijuana is also used in the manufacture of drugs that are used to heal cancer. Some cancers are curbed through taking of drugs manufactured from marijuana because they relieve pain. These drugs are used in chemotherapy in order to control cancer. Chemotherapy requires that the administering of drugs to the cancer patients be given in small doses to make the spread of cancer less active. Hence, it is considered vital to the economy because the US can spend less on importation of drugs since the legalization of marijuana will enable many industries to manufacture depressants. Research indicates that the US is able to manufacture over 25,000 products from the marijuana product.
Since the criminalization in the early 19th century, many states have legalized marijuana. Besides the concerns of health and morals, the economic debate has been raised over marijuana legalization. One of the most considerable attempts of legalizing marijuana in Portugal was to regulate tax commercial production, its distribution and sales. Not only does it require the distributors and producers to obtain licenses but also adhere to the rules of the federal, local and state taxation. This allows the government to transfer taxes as well as benefit fees on related activities of marijuana, which are considered legal. According to the United States tax policy of 2008, the tax revenue generated from marijuana was estimated at $50 per ounce. This could generate a lot of money annually in the revenues. Thus, the US economy could economically benefit greatly in case all the states could legalize it.
The economic benefits of marijuana legalization broaden far past revenue. The decriminalization of marijuana would save a lot of money in the law enforcement department of the United States. This will allow those flowing resources to be diverted to serious crimes and drug abusers. For instance, the total cost of adult prison sentences in a year is estimated $85 billion but this depends on the level of security. The maximum penalty for illegal marijuana consumers in New York is four months whereas the penalty for sellers is five years behind bars. The budget for drug control is high and this has affected the economy. Thus, legalizing it will enable the government to reduce their spending power on drug control and then educate the mass on the negative impact of drug abuse. The money used in ensuring that prisoners are kept in jail can substantially be used in economic development of the country and ensure that the economy is operating their activities smoothly. Moreover, the money can be used is other progressive activities and instigate in other vital projects in an effort of ensuring that the country is economically expanding.
A common concern associated with the marijuana legalization is that the users would over misuse it. However, with the legalization of marijuana in Portugal, there have been no considerable changes in the number of users. Moreover, improvements in health and a decrease in crime rate have been numbered as some of the economic impacts. Since Portugal enforced the laws that prohibit people from using marijuana, it has done far much better economically (Geluardi, 2010). The Portugal government decriminalized the use of these drug and the effects that have come because of legalizing this drug are just positive. Hence, all the activities associated with the use of marijuana have been removed from the hands of criminal and gangs to the hands of the government into the free market. Smuggling and selling of marijuana in those countries that have not yet legalized has been reported together with increased criminals. Hence, many countries have raised the debate on this issue to avert legalization of marijuana.
Many arguments have been raised on the legalization of marijuana and the key question raised is the issue of health and its effects on the users. Some people argue that the legalization will lead to increased crime rates and poor health of a nation. However, those states in the US that have legalized it have greatly experienced more benefits than costs. Moreover, it has been proven by medical researchers that marijuana is not as bad for the body as other legal substances such as alcohol. By making marijuana legal, some states in the US have been able to devote most of their time and money to development as opposed to dealing with the worries of tracking down the users and dealers of marijuana (Chaloupka, 2000). This is because they realized that tracking down drug traffickers and smugglers is wastage of resources. Thus, they decided to legalize it in order to avoid money directed to the wrong people such as the gangs and killers. This is a great way of making the country go a step ahead in championing other activities thus progressing in development.
In conclusion, though the legalization of marijuana has been a controversial issue in many states in the US, those states where it has been legalized such as Colorado, have greatly experienced economical benefits. First, legalization of marijuana has led to increased income generation through taxation of activities associated with marijuana. Nevertheless, the sale of legalized marijuana is a significant financial benefit to both private and public sectors. This is beneficial especially to those people who may choose to join the marijuana industry. Consequently, the legalization of marijuana would reduce the federal deficits of the United States. In addiction, it has led to increased employment because many industries have been created for processing and manufacturing of products using marijuana plants. Medical marijuana has been considered significant pain relievers. For instance, many people who are suffering from chronic diseases often conclude that cost is never a factor. Moreover, it has been taken as one way of reducing the costs of spending on criminals. Lastly, it is used to manufacture depressants, which are used to promote the health of people hence a beneficial factor.
Abadinsky, H., & Abadinsky, H. (2008). Drug use and abuse: A comprehensive introduction.
Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Boushey, G. (2010). Policy Diffusion Dynamics in America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Chaloupka J. F. (2000). The economic analysis of substance use and abuse: an integration
of econometric and behavioral economic research. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
Geluardi, J. (2010). Cannabiz: The explosive rise of the medical marijuana industry. Sausalito,
CA: PoliPoint Press.
La, R. M., & Rugh, D. (January 01, 2005). Chapter 5: Onset of Alcohol and Other Drug Use
Among Latino Gang Members. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 23, 2-3
McCollum, B. (2001). Medical Marijuana Referenda Movement in America: Congressional
Hearing. Southport, ME: DIANE Publishing
Rudolph, J. G. (2004). Legalizing marijuana: drug policy reform and prohibition
politics. London, UK: Greenwood Publishing Group
Ruschmann, P. (2004). Legalizing marijuana. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.