Given the alleged benefits of weed, or commonly known as marijuana, to individuals with health conditions, many states in America have shown interest in its legalization in their respective jurisdictions. However, the movements to legalize the use of this plant come with challenges.
Despite the supporters’ efforts to pass and implement policies regulating the distribution and use of weed for both medical and recreational purposes, many aren’t still sure about making it legal across the country.
But, since the legalization of weed is still building momentum nowadays, below are the things you should keep in mind from the get-go:
1. Weed Or Marijuana Is Legal In Some U.S. States And Territories
- Realistically speaking, weed legalization isn’t a new issue in the United States. This is one reason why as of 2017, many states and territories have successfully legalized the use of this plant for either medical or recreational purposes, or both. These include:
- For medical use only: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii. Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- For both medical and recreational uses: Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
- Decriminalize possession: Connecticut, Illinois, Delaware, Minnesota, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island. However, if you’ve been wondering what decriminalization has to do with the issue on legalization, then, you should understand the difference between the two concepts. For more valuable information, check out some reliable resource websites.
2. A Federal Initiative Has Been Passed About Weed Legalization
Typically, anything that had something to do with weed wasn’t legal under the federal law a few years back. This means that no federal agency or organization was interested in intervening with the state legalization measures and policies. However, the federal government made it clear that they’d not challenge the legalization of weed by the state governments as long as they follow strict of rules, such as making sure that minors have no easy and direct access to it.
On the other hand, as years pass by, there has been a federal initiative, which is being passed in Congress. This is called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. This reform bill is designed to de-schedule weed at a federal level to allow states to implement their own policies without federal interference. Not only that, but it’s used to expunge prior marijuana convictions so the government can start repairing extensive damage done to communities from several years of biased law enforcements.
3. The Legalization Can Lead To Higher Tax Revenues
States and territories that legalize weed for either medical or recreational uses can obtain billions of dollars in tax revenue. Generally, the local governments can levy substantial taxes on the weed industry and generate good amounts of taxes that can be used for different projects. For example, Colorado’s legalization of this plant has already brought millions of dollars of tax revenue every month to the state.
For some, legalizing the use of weed is something that many states are looking forward for the federal government to do. This means that if the weed is legal federally, the industry will become much bigger and it can bring much tax revenues to the government. This can be something that can boost the economy of America.
4. There Are Valuable Reasons Why Weed Should Be Legalized
In addition to bigger tax revenues, legalization of weed may come with several benefits. These can include:
- Save Money – By making weed legal, the government can save money on law enforcement resources, as well as reduce court and correction costs.
- Minimize Harm – The more weed is criminalized, the more harm it brings to young people. As such, legalizing the use of this pant may reduce harm as it discourages massive levels of corruption and violence among the people. Not only that, but making weed legal can also lead to fewer illegal grow sites in the national forests , thereby minimizing harm to the environment.
- Create Jobs For People – The legalization and regulation of weed can create economic opportunities and jobs in the formal economy rather than the illicit ones. This can help job-seeking individuals to earn money without violating the laws.
- Encourage Consumer Safety – When legalizing the weed markets, product testing is a standard requirement before they’re being introduced to the public. This means that the consumers will be more educated about the use of weed, either medically or recreationally.
With the information mentioned above, it’s clear that there are many things going on about the legalization of weed in the United States of America and even in other parts of the world. However, despite having many people who are open-minded about this matter, the stategovernments still need time to ensure an efficient and safe way of legalizing weed that can benefit both the society and the economy.