Cannabis is a flowering plant, indigenous to central and southern Asia in places such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal. Cannabis has been used in a variety of ways in many different industries; and history records involving the use of cannabis date back as far as 440 BCE. Recently, cannabis has largely been in the spotlight for its medicinal use by medical patients and is reported to reduce nausea, ease chronic pain, increase appetite and deliver many other benefits. The medical application is wonderful, but it is just one reason to legalize cannabis. Fortunately, advocates have five more reasons to push the movement forward.
Legalizing and collecting taxes from the sale of cannabis can result in a windfall of money for the states that decide to do so. This extra income can be used to improve infrastructure or education, paying down debt and so much more. The government can bring in revenue at every point of the supply chain—growing, processing and retail; but in addition, they will reap tax dollars from related industries including glass blowers to head shops.
Marijuana is grown, processed, packaged and sold. It is a process that requires time and effort at every level. With legal marijuana, a sea of new job opportunities opens up for people. Jobs that never existed will become available including bud trimmers, packagers, sales reps and dispensary managers. Beyond the grow house and dispensaries, you will find work in head and vape shops, marijuana-themed restaurants and all sorts of complementary industries.
Did you know that hemp and marijuana are not the same? They look the same but hemp does not come with the THC component like marijuana; however it has many industrial uses. Unfortunately, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 made both illegal. Legalize marijuana and you legalize hemp. Hemp was an American cash crop before it was made illegal. Hemp can be used in thousands of products including replacing all paper products—a tree takes 20 years to mature and industrial hemp takes 4 months!
Time is money and legalizing marijuana will save the time (aka money) a police officer spends making an arrest and processing an individual. The judge, court officers, ADAs, court appointed attorneys and every other individual in the courtroom will also save time. With more time, all of these individuals can focus on efforts and cases far more important. In addition, jails and prisons constantly face overcrowding and legalization would help limit this problem and reduce pressure on capacity.
Not only can we create jobs and raise tax dollars, but all dispensaries, grow houses and other related businesses need a place to set up their operations. Real estate is suffering for many reasons and a lot of areas can use a boost. Growing marijuana whether indoors or outdoors requires space and both dispensaries and head shops need a storefront. Many of the legalized states have already seen real estate demand increase significantly. This was not only seen in the commercial sector from businesses, but also seen in the residential sector from workers and tourists.