We all know that cannabis provides patients with the needed care other medications sometimes can’t give. However, the adult use market has been a pillar of the movement since day one. Today, the prospect of a federally approved market isn’t too far removed from reality. With 61% of Americans supporting legal marijuana in America, the discussion around cannabis legalization and tax revenue has heated up.
Meanwhile, the movement to expand medical cannabis care to all states in the U.S. continues. However, the support for a national adult use market could lap the process, thus, achieving both dreams in the process. This outcome looks like it could open the United States to an influx of additional benefits beyond patient care as well.
Learn more about how MMJ is helping patients and their cities!
Legal Cannabis in the United States Brings Jobs and Tax Revenue
Some of the most apparent benefits of federally approved cannabis would be felt in the economy and job market. Recent data forecasts that adult use cannabis in America would generate $132 billion in tax revenue over the next decade. More so, it would create more than one million jobs in the United States!
Gee, lots of tax revenue and job creation! You’d think politicians might catch on to this sometime soon – wait, they have.
Meanwhile, with Canada set to begin sales, eventually, its market is projected to reach CAD 9.2 billion by 2025. Across the world, the health benefits are aligning with supply and demand. In states with adult use sales already in place, they’re already reaping the benefits.
Struggling Cities See Hope in Cannabis
MMJ is helping patients and their cities, especially the ones struggling! With numerous towns struggling in America, legal cannabis in the United States may be what gets them back on track.
Adult use cannabis in America is already reshaping some struggling cities. Places like Pueblo, Colorado are now boom markets for cannabis. That’s a significant change from being a fading construction community during the Great Recession. Now, some consider it the Napa Valley of Weed for grow operations.
Other cities, including Philadelphia and Atlantic City, are getting involved. With adult use on the verge in New Jersey, Atlantic City could add a new component to its casino and beach reputation. Many see marijuana helping the long-struggling city that’s suffered from addiction, crime and political corruption through the years. Meanwhile, Philadelphia lawmakers are seeking to expand its permit allowance to grower-processors. With one of the highest overdose rates in the nation, the city may see the lives of its citizens improve while adding revenue to better the city.
Fighting America’s Actual Drug Problem
A JAMA Internal Medicine journal published in April 2018 proposes medical marijuana to help fight the opioid crisis. The study examined medical marijuana markets and found that 2.21 million fewer doses of opioids were prescribed per year in these states.
The push for legal cannabis in the United States also comes from names like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who was once against marijuana, himself. In an open online letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Dr. Gupta wrote, “…while some may consider making medical marijuana widely available to be a desperate measure, the evidence has become increasingly clear of the important role cannabis can have.”
Now, even the AG is wondering how legal cannabis helps America. While he remains opposed, the anti-cannabis AG admitted to its potential benefits, adding that it is “perfectly appropriate to study” its effect.
Reducing and Reversing the Prison Population
Prisons in the United States are filled with low-level marijuana offenses. In 2016, the United States made over 653,000 arrests for cannabis violations. Of those, 574,641 arrests were strictly for possession – comprising 89% of the cannabis arrests for the year.
These are stats that haven’t been lost on some politicians in recent years. In August 2017, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill that sought to expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes. The bill was introduced in large part due to staggering arrest disparities amongst people of color and white users despite similar usage rates.
Sen. Booker’s bill now has support from notable names including Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris, who joined the bill in May of 2018. In her announcement, the California Senator explained that, “The war on drugs was a war on communities. Not somebody smoking a joint.”
Infrastructure and Education
Some Colorado towns are giving hope to others in need of fixes, from schools to roads. Denver is doing the same by using $1.2 million in marijuana tax revenue to pave an additional 50 blocks of streets in the city. At this time, the volatility of the market calls for one-time investments. However, the revenue is enhancing the quality of cities with legal cannabis.
While this investment helps with schools, the one-time expenditures mean that some aspects of schools remain underfunded. In Colorado, educators and other leaders are saying that the current funding is not enough to address teacher pay or student funding. They cited the portion of marijuana tax money going to special grant programs instead.
Despite the slight letdowns, states like New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin are just a few states discussing what could be done with cannabis tax revenue. In areas in need of improved roads and better paths to education, cannabis could be a start.
But, Does It Hurt Dogs?!
You may have recently heard that legal cannabis in the United States may lead to K9 dogs getting euthanized. This heinous bit of misinformation has produced no actual cases to date. Fact-checking site Snopes recently debunked the notion in detail, as have several other groups.
So, if you’ve heard this one, consider it a big ol’ piece of incorrect information.
The extent to how cannabis helps America won’t be known until markets mature. More so, we won’t know its actual impact unless the United States changes the federal stance on cannabis. However, states like Colorado do give us a glimpse into the wins and shortcomings of adult use marijuana. We already see other states follow from its lessons and often improve going forward.
While marijuana is sure to provide a boost to states, it is far from a singular solution. States cannot rely on cannabis to repair all its budget woes. That being said, it is a start, and no one can be upset with more paved roads, jobs and fewer Americans addicted to the actual deadly drugs, right?Get Your Card Now