The legalization of marijuana has remained a significant topic of discussion and political debate over the years. Yet the drug remains one of the most consumed ones by the public even though it’s considered illegal by federal law. Over 128 million adults in the US have tried the drug, while at least 60,000 are arrested for being in possession of the drug annually (Yu, Chen, and Chen 156). In 1969, 12% of the public supported its legalization, a percentage that has risen to 66% today. Some states, such as Colorado, Washington, and Montana, among a few others, have legalized the use of the drug for recreational purposes (Rebecca 1). Most of the states legalizing drugs have argued that its legalization has more benefits to the economy and the society than disadvantages. Therefore, it is crucial to explore why more states need to join these few states and also sign bills legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in their societies.
Previous economic statistics from Colorado and Washington illustrate that marijuana legalization positively impacts tax revenue. In 2019, $302 million in taxes were collected in Colorado, with the product’s sales totaling up to $1.7 billion. During the same year, sales were at $12.2 billion in the US and were projected to reach $3.1 billion by 2024 (Magdalena, Christine, and Ava 166). A recent report also illustrated that the legal sale of the drug in some states in 2017 contributed over $80.8 million to the US economy through taxes and related fees. Reports from cannabis analytic companies also argue that at the current rate, the legalization of the drug could bring over $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue by 2025.
The product’s legalization would increase income and employment opportunities for those dealing with it. Medical Marijuana nurseries and dispensaries would be established, increasing employment opportunities. Those growing the product would also have the opportunity to legally generate income and create employment opportunities for others to work on the farms. Recent reports show that in Nevada alone, the legalization of the product would create over 41,000 jobs and lead to $1.7 billion annually in labor crime. The report further states that legalization could lead to almost one million jobs nationwide by 2025.
Legalization could also be instrumental in securing the investment portfolios of many across the nation. The current illegal status of the product in many states makes it difficult for investors to capitalize on this business opportunity (Rebecca 1). Public stock exchanges on companies trading in the product are minuscule. Although most investors have the opportunity of working with over-the-counter exchanges, most prefer working in Canada, where the product has been fully legalized (Magdalena, Christine, and Ava 168). Legalizing the product in the US would make it possible for the companies to list their stocks in the exchange market and enhance liquidity.
The research argues that marijuana legalization will reduce the usage of teenagers. According to recent reports, the legalization of the product in certain states did not lead to increased abuse by teenagers but instead led to decreased use. The reason is that with legalization, it is difficult for teens to obtain the product since licensed dealers replace drug dealers. These licensed dealers will require the buyers to show proof of age before selling the products to them. Therefore, it becomes difficult for teens to purchase the product.
Although legalization of the product has been associated with certain ecopno0mic and social benefits, it is essential to acknowledge that it will be associated with particular challenges and may lead to specific problems in the nation. Legal use of the product means increased levels of intoxication, leading to impaired judgment (Pacula and Rosanna 399). For instance, the product will affect road safety, with many drivers who consume the product making impaired judgments and causing many accidents.
Legalization means that users can access and consume the product at any time and place. According to scientists, the result will be increased consumption, which can harm the human brain, especially for those under the age of 25 (Pacula and Rosanna 396). The result is decreased attention span, impaired short-term memory, and decreased problem-solving abilities, which may affect the ability of users to concentrate on their daily activities such as work and learning. The changes in moods and impaired judgment may lead to increased crime and injuries. According to critics, legalizing the product implies placing more harm in the society, the harm that costs more than the revenue it generates.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The informatio0n above demonstrates that legalizing the product of marijuana will have benefits and problems for society. Therefore, it will be necessary for lawmakers to outweigh the benefits and disadvantages to determine whether to pass the legalization bill or not. However, what remains clear is that many states in the US are slowly passing the bill for legalizing marijuana for recreational passes. It is expected that more states will also legalize the product in the coming years. Therefore, these states must conduct research and find out how to eliminate the above challenges and ensure that the legalization causes better than harm in their societies.
Magdalena, Cerdá, et al. “Association Between Recreational Marijuana Legalization in the United States and Changes in Marijuana Use and Cannabis Use Disorder From 2008 to 2016.” JAMA Psychiatry 1 (2019): 165-172.
Pacula, Liccardo and Smart Rosanna. ” “Medical Marijuana and Marijuana Legalization.”.” Annual review of clinical psychology 13 (2017): 397-419.
Rebecca, S. “House passes landmark marijuana legalization bill.” NBC News (2022).
Yu, B., X. Chen and X Chen. “Marijuana legalization and historical trends in marijuana use among US residents aged 12–25: results from the 1979–2016 National Survey on drug use and health.” BMC Public Health 20 (2020): 156.