Pros And Cons Of Marijuana Legalization In The United States

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The United States has been in a state of economic decline and continues to face a growing national debt. Marijuana legalization could solve this issue. Legalizing cannabis seems inevitable as Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and many other states have legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized possession of marijuana, despite cannabis being considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level. Some argue against its use and consider it dangerous, although this seems hypocritical as other more harmful drugs with little use and few health benefits, such as tobacco and alcohol, are legal. Several studies show numerous benefits and few disadvantages of legalizing cannabis, …show more content…
As of late, the United States hasn’t had the best economic standings. Unemployment is becoming an increasingly important matter and legalizing marijuana would greatly benefit the United States as it would create large amounts of jobs. Again in 1994, economic PhD Gieringer stated, “The city of Amsterdam, with a million people, boasts 300 coffee houses retailing cannabis. Translated to the U.S., this would amount to over 60,000 retailers and 100,000 jobs.” As stated, this study occurred in 1994, which means that the amount of retailers and jobs would likely increase dramatically as the market has grown tremendously. These new jobs would also come along with an increase in revenue for the United States due to the new marijuana market that would be created. A study in 2010 by Cato Institute stated that legalization could generate up to $8.7 billion in annual revenue for state and federal treasuries (Schuette). By 2018, studies suggest the cannabis industry will have a $10.2 billion marijuana market (Diehm and Hall). According to Drug War Statistics, California alone would make $1.4 billion on the taxation and regulation of the cannabis market. Gieringer’s studies state, “that revenues from cannabis excise taxes might range from $2.2 to $6.4 billion per year.” That tax estimate is from 1994 and does not even include other taxes, such as sin tax or sales tax, meaning the current value is probably much higher. Estimates show legal cannabis could become a $45 to $100 billion market, according to economist Stephen Easton in 2010 (Bradford). These profits would be very beneficial to the United States as the economy has been slowly degrading. On top of the large amount of jobs created and the economic earnings, legalization would also allow for hemp production. Hemp is a very useful material that was only prohibited because of its narcotic effects. Yet again, Gieringer explains the benefits

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