By legally regulating the import, and even perhaps the export, or marijuana, the government has the ability to tax the intakes heavily, for the market is so readily available and always is, and will be, in demand. Since the demand for marijuana will be so high, no pun intended, and supply will also be very high, the prices from individually run dispensaries and pharmacies will be quite low and affordable, meaning the high tax money will be helping the government, while the low prices and steady supply of the marijuana will be aiding the area it is sold in. If the government decides that it does not want to import the cannabis and decides to locally grow it, thousands, if not millions, of jobs will be created. Since marijuana can be grown indoors and outdoors in such massive harvests, a steady flow will always be available. Plus, the hemp plant, which marijuana is merely the bud of, is the most versatile plant grown. Its stems and leaves can be mashed and produced into anything from paper, the cloth, to ropes, to foods! Due to the few side-effects of smoking or ingesting marijuana include hunger and dry-mouth; the food industry will feel a large growth in their sales. Small food businesses and large franchises will eventually be able to branch out and open more restaurants, only creating more jobs in the economy. Also, when arrested for possession of marijuana, many choose the path of rehabilitation treatment rather than imprisonment, when convicted with other crimes. By legalizing marijuana and its possession, less tax dollars will go towards the upkeep of the treatment, and the criminal will be prosecuted for their true and harmful crimes.
As a whole, the country spends $68 billion a year on its prisoners, one-third of which are imprisoned for nonviolent drug crimes. About half of these criminals are marijuana offenders, which means one-sixth of our country’s prisoners are in jail for marijuana-related charges. Legalizing the drug would mean spending $11.3 billion less a year on. By legalizing recreational marijuana, less public tax money will have to go towards the prison care system, therefore potentially yielding more benefit for those with a lower income, or anyone in the prisons’ surrounding areas. Since the sale of the marijuana itself will be regulated by the government, for tax purposes, there will be less fighting between gangs associated in the dealing of marijuana and less street-curb violence. Ever since California decriminalized marijuana in 2011, , simple marijuana possession arrests of California juveniles fell from 14,991 in 2010 to 5,831 in 2011, a 61 percent difference. On the narrower question of marijuana, there is little evidence of a direct link between marijuana use and criminal behavior. Marijuana is neither a gateway drug (smoking marijuana necessarily leads to the use of more serious drugs like cocaine and heroin) nor one that necessarily propels one to criminal activity with the obvious exceptions of either possession or distribution of the drug. As noted earlier, over 25 million people consume marijuana each year with nearly 15 million using the drug in the past month. By way of comparison, very small percentages of Americans (under 4 % in total) have used cocaine, crack, heroin or other inhalants in the past 30 days. So somewhere along the line, the vast majority of the marijuana drug users do not graduate to the more dangerous drugs. In review of drug control policies, it is noted that of three major illicit drugs, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin,