The debate over the legalization of Marijuana is a growing concern in the U.S. today. Many people have different views on the subject: some consider it the devil’s weed and others consider it a harmless alternative to over-the-counter medication. Marijuana has been documented in the U.S. since the early 1600’s when domestic production of Hemp was actually encouraged; it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that Mexican Immigrants flooded into the U.S. and introduced recreational use of Marijuana. Shortly after in 1930 the Great Depression sparked massive unemployment and fear of Mexican Immigrants. This lead to “research which linked the use of marijuana with violence, crime and other socially deviant behaviors, primarily committed by ‘racially inferior’ or underclass communities” (Marijuana Timeline). Because of the instilled fear this research introduced: “29 states outlawed Marijuana by 1931” (Marijuana Timeline). Today the matter has a more settling outlook and many states have already rolled the dice and legalized Marijuana. Regardless of what people’s opinion of the matter is, there have been tremendous economic growths in the states that have legalized marijuana. Legal marijuana has the potential to boost our economy through medical use, tax revenue, employment opportunities, and crime reduction.
Much of the liberal stronghold for the debate over Legal Marijuana is for medicinal use. While most conservative Americans argue the case, there’s no denying the facts. The national Institute on Drug abuse states that the “scientific study of the active chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to the development of two FDA-approved medications already” (“Drug Facts”). Medical research continues rapidly to advance the study of Medicinal use of Marijuana. Long term medicinal use of Marijuana all over the world has proven it “is effective at relieving nausea and vomiting, spasticity, appetite loss, certain types of pain, and other debilitating symptoms” (Grinspoon). Grinspoon also goes on to say that “If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug.” Many critics consider Medical Marijuana use asinine, but “with a growing number of states (20 as of March 2014)” (“Drug Facts”) legalizing it for Medical use, people are seeing many results of relief from pain that over the counter drugs just can’t sooth.
Medicinal use is just one of many benefits from legalizing Marijuana. Another highly noted prosperity of the matter is tax revenue. States such as California and Colorado have already legalized Marijuana and have seen an outstanding raise in tax revenue. To get a little more technical: Visiting Economics professor Jeffery Miron from Harvard University claims in his “Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition” article that “marijuana legalization would generate tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were
Taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco” (Miron 2-3). Numbers like those could redefine the U.S. and possibly back some forgotten, invisible currency at Fort Knox. Whether people’s beliefs are pro-Marijuana or anti-Marijuana the numbers don’t lie and they could help generate many benefits such as better education systems, more work opportunities, better road construction, and advancements in the Transportation Bureau.
Alongside Tax revenue and Medicinal use employment opportunities would rise. In the U.S. Colorado is a prime example of why this is so; “In January alone, Colorado issued 160 new licensees for marijuana businesses, and between January and March, many of these businesses experienced over a 100% growth in their work force, growing from 5-6 employees per dispensary to 20 or more” (Colorodo’s Goldmine). There is also a lot more to this