Marijuana is widely used both for medical reasons and as a recreational drug and its use is not about to stop whether it is legalized or not. However, marijuana has had tremendous economic and social effects on the countries that have legalized it for example Canada and some states in the United States like California. When taxed and regulated, medical marijuana can have great economic benefits to individuals and the country as a whole. The Canadian government with the legalization of medical marijuana is already experiencing these benefits. The following are some of the benefits of legalizing marijuana.
1. Increasing revenue without increasing tax
Already the marijuana business is a multi-billion industry and with or without the government’s help, it would have continued to grow tremendously. Even though a large amount of the plant is still being consumed for pleasure in uncontrolled environments and quantities, the legalization of medical marijuana will go a long way in keeping it in check.
With control comes the ability to not only control the quality of the product and therefore the welfare of the common people who use it but also the ability to collect tax and therefore increase the revenue collected by the government. The government can collect taxes on the sale and other dealings of the products and have a new source of revenue without increasing the taxes for the common people. This will also cut out the drug cartels that are making a fortune selling dubious marijuana to innocent people.
2. Job creation
For years, anyone who was involved in the production of cannabis was considered a criminal and whatever their role was, it was illegal. They would get no benefits, insurance, or retirement fund. Some of them could not even tell their family or friends what they did for a living. However, with the legalization of medical marijuana, a whole new world just opened up. The regulation of marijuana will create jobs for millions of people on different levels. Positions for people like horticulturists, researchers, farmers, graders, lab assistants and owners, dispensary attendants, distributors and suppliers just to mention a few will be legally available thus expanding the job market. Hard working people will no longer be branded as criminals.
As a result, they will no longer have to launder their money or involve themselves in other such criminal activities just to keep their jobs a secret and mask the source of their income. This will also help the people working for the drug cartels get legitimate work and therefore not be harassed, and abused by the cartel. In fact, they can even join labor unions!
3. Increased quality of marijuana
Legalizing marijuana makes it subject to quality control just like any other consumable product out there. This means that all the marijuana products will be constantly checked for quality and its producers held accountable. Currently, the cartels are serving the users of cannabis whatever they want. With no form of control whatsoever and due to the nature of the business in terms of legality, the users of marijuana have to take it as offered and have no one to report to when offered substandard products.
With the legalization of medical marijuana, there will be more healthy competition as more people, who previously could not join the business due to its illegal nature, will be driven to join in and offer varying marijuana products and bi-products. Already, there are several medical marijuana dispensaries competing to offer varying forms of medical marijuana and tools to consume it safely. All this means a better and safer product for the marijuana consumer, especially those that use it as alternative medicine.
4. Decreased government spending
Governments have spent a lot of time and billions of dollars fighting the plant cannabis sativa. Billions of tax payer’s money has been used in developing policies to fight the drug, paying for the costs of incarceration for marijuana related law breakers, paying the judicial system to handle cases related to marijuana and paying law enforcement agencies to deal with the drug. Unnecessary time has also been spent by law enforcement agencies chasing down marijuana users while they could be dealing with real crimes that they could actually reduce. The worst part is that even with the spending, marijuana is used even more than alcohol. Legalization of marijuana will make sure that the funds previously used to deal with it are spent in more meaningful ways.
5. Weakened criminal organizations
Drug dealers who sell cannabis illegally are able to live lavish lifestyles because they deal in a popular drug and are not taxed. Legalizing marijuana will take this money away from them and place it in the hands of more responsible and professional citizens improving their living standards while increasing the government’s revenue. This will also help control the use of the drug by minors since drug dealers do not care who they sell to and sell to children.