Marijuana should be legalized throughout the entire United States. The legalization of marijuana will benefit society in several ways. First, by taxing marijuana sales and imports, states will see increased revenue. Second, by not having to prosecute and jail lower level marijuana offenders, states will save money. Third, legalizing marijuana will create jobs.
Many people already pay for and smoke marijuana illegally, but if legalized, they can continue to do business and the government can tax it. According to Debra Borchardt, writer for Forbes Magazine, “States are addicted to cannabis tax revenues. According to a new report from New Frontier Data states with legalized marijuana are on track to generate approximately $655 million in state taxes on retail sales in 2017. Within that tax figure, $559 million will come just from cannabis taxes, much more than from alcohol taxes.”
States that have legalized marijuana are making over half a billion dollars on cannabis taxes, while alcohol taxes are making a lot less money. For example: in the Colorado Department of Revenue reported that the revenue Colorado made from taxing and licensing marijuana sales hit a high in 2017 of $247,368,473. 2018 has a projected revenue of $346,541,052 . Furthermore, in 2017, taxes on alcoholic beverages in Colorado were about $150,669,971; almost half that of marijuana tax. Not only could states make money, but the states’ tax payers could save money.
Ray Stern, from Phoenix New Times stated, “Legalizing up to an ounce of marijuana in Arizona could save taxpayers at least $1.3 million in jail booking costs alone.” Governments need tax money to run. Saving states over a million dollars in prosecuting marijuana offenders will go a long way in helping the economy. Not only are we saving money by not prosecuting and jailing drug dealers, buyers and users, but an author from The Guardian said, “Whenever there is a medical marijuana law, we observe that crime at the border decreases because suddenly there is a lot less smuggling and a lot less violence associated with that.”
By legalizing marijuana, the opening of new stores/dispensaries will create new jobs. The marijuana industry needs growers, warehouse space, specialty lighting, irrigation equipment, contractors, lawyers, and bookkeepers, etc. Christopher Ingraham from The Washington Post claimed that, “In 2015, the legal marijuana industry in Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic activity…” Marijuana created 18,000 full-time jobs in one state. If it was legal in every state, there could be 900,000 new full-time jobs made in the United States alone.
Marijuana should be legalized throughout the entire United States. The legalization of marijuana will help America’s economy by increasing tax revenue, by not having to prosecute and jail lower level marijuana offenders, and will help to create new jobs.