There are currently more than 30 states in America that have in some way legalized the use of marijuana, whether for medicinal or recreational use. More states are also jumping on the bandwagon that is legalized pot use.
At the beginning of this year, Illinois was the most recent state to pass marijuana legislation that allows the commercial sale of weed products for adults above the age of 21. Illinois Governor, J.B Pritzker is a strong proponent of the legalization of pot and with his support, the bill is likely to become state law very soon.
Illinois lawmakers arranged a discussion of the new legislation bill in January and hope to have it passed by May this year. If the bill is passed, cannabis-related businesses will need to be issued with licenses for growing and selling commercial marijuana for recreational purposes. There is a growing consensus for the marijuana legalization as it could positively impact the economic and, to some level, social state of America. Here are some of the reasons why America should definitely legalize pot:
Provision of funding for state and local programs
Many people who are in support of the legalization of marijuana say that revenue from marijuana sales will be a great source of funding for many state and local programs, for example, substance abuse education and treatment programs. Legalization would also help to boost value by creating investment opportunities for poor communities that have been affected by violence. The new national income would contribute to additional pension payments and public investment. It would also contribute to college tuition assistance programs. Passing this bill into law could also mean the expungement of convictions that are marijuana-related.
Creation of a safe and accessible marijuana market
If pot is legalized in the United States, there will be convenient access to the dispensaries and licensed businesses that sell recreational and medicinal marijuana. With licenses and a set of regulations in place to govern pot-related businesses, the government can create a safe and successful market for consumers. Based on previous evidence, it is clear that recreational cannabis consumers will resort to mischievous ways to acquire marijuana.
Equality and inclusion of communities of color
The Deputy Director of the Illinois Justice Project Sharone Mitchell said that the tax benefits and funding that could be realized from the commercial sale of marijuana can be reinvested in communities that were damaged by the criminal justice system, for instance, due to cannabis-related convictions. She also says that this would be a chance to restore equality for communities of color that have been adversely affected by the existing policies.
Financial Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana
Commercial sale of marijuana, if legalized, will contribute to the revenue of America. Let’s look at Illinois as a case example. A recent study conducted by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) found that the legalization of commercial marijuana could positively and greatly impact the economy. It would reduce the many high taxpayer costs.
According to the study, the annual economic impact of pot legalization could be over $1 billion. It would also give way to the creation of over 2,600 businesses and 24,000 new jobs. This would bring in about $525 million in new tax revenue annually.
Pot legalization and regulation would benefit state governments and citizens alike
Taxpayer costs would significantly reduce and, at the same time, the state budget would be improved. Many states already benefit from the legalization of commercial marijuana, and Illinois would definitely get a lot out of legalizing and regulating marijuana. If every state would make recreational marijuana sale and use legal, then America would be in for a great economic change.