Marijuana is one of the most contentious topics, both in the health and legal sector. While medical marijuana is federally legal (for specific reasons), it remains illegal in some states in America. Recreational marijuana, for example, is legal in 11 states (Washington DC included), with around 33 states making it legal for medical use alone. Most states have a medical marijuana program (MMJ) that qualifies patients to access marijuana in licensed dispensaries. More and more states are slowly making marijuana legal and for a good reason. Outlined below are some of the reasons for and benefits of legalizing weed.
1. Income and Jobs
Many of the states that have legalized marijuana have dispensaries and nurseries set up to facilitate the production and supply of medical marijuana to qualifying patients. Such has created a steady income source, with some producers leaving their office jobs to apply for and produce industrial hemp or medical marijuana. States with an already established medical marijuana infrastructure, such as Nevada and California, have seen a quantifiable boost in the economy, with the industry generating a little over $1.7 billion in labor income. Making marijuana legal in all states means more employment and income opportunities for citizens willing to venture into the sector.
2. More Investment Opportunities
If marijuana were to be made legal at the national level, it would then be possible for companies investing in the same to list their stocks on the U.S stock exchange market. This would boost their liquidity and even open the industry up for even more investors. The fact that more than 33 states have seen the need to make medical marijuana legal, and enacted bills supporting the same, has opened up their market for investors. Making marijuana legal at the federal level and all states following suit, could see the country reap big, both economically and in the health sector.
3. Save Taxpayer Money
States that have made marijuana legal have seen a significant drop in the number of marijuana-related arrests. According to research, the taxpayer loses an approximated $439 for each arrest made, especially for marijuana possession. Making marijuana legal would save the taxpayer and the country in general millions of dollars in a year. Thus, the savings could go into developmental projects or even injected into marijuana-related research for developing conventional drugs.
Marijuana, especially medical marijuana, is a potent source of cannabinoids. CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most popular and packs potent benefits to the human body. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body, triggering a sense of homeostasis. It is thus commonly used to improve symptoms of chronic pain, arthritis, inflammation, neurological and mental disorders, among others. Legalizing marijuana means individuals with these conditions will have easy access to medical marijuana, with the country reaping more benefits from its sales.