Legalization Of Marijuana

By: Sam Churchill

Thesis:

The benefits to a state that come from legalizing marijuana are more economically and financially substantial for the economy than continuing to not legalize marijuana

Background Information:

  • The legal marijuana market is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States
  • Gallup Poll taken to see if Americans were in favor of marijuana legalization:
  • In 1969 only 16% were in favor
  • In 2005 the percent had more than doubled to 36% in favor
  • In 2009 56% were in favor
  • Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia are the only places that have legalized recreational marijuana.
  • Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana
  • The places listed above that have chose to legalize marijuana have not just legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, they have legalized marijuana to increase state revenue in a multitude of ways

Legalization Allows States to Generate a Great Deal of Money Rapidly

  • Jeffrey Miron found that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug.
  • Simpler Terms: This would save individual states billions of dollars a year just by not having to campaign against the use of marijuana.
  • Ranjit Dighe found that from reducing the prohibition on marijuana endorsements costs would save a state $10 billion yearly.
  • Simpler Terms: The states would not have to pay billions of dollars a year to get endorsers for their prohibition advertisements
  • Jeffrey Miron found that if states were to replace marijuana prohibition with a taxation system similar to alcohol and tobacco products, the states could take in anywhere from $10 billion to $14 billion per year from tax revenue alone.
  • Jeffrey Miron found that if the same taxes were placed on marijuana as they are alcohol and tobacco products the state would make an additional $6 billion a year just from the marijuana tax rate.
  • Stephen Easton believes that the financial benefits of marijuana legalization could even be bigger than Jeffrey Miron's finding that it could bring in $45 billion per year.
  • Stephen Easton based this off of the amount of money he thinks it would take to produce the legal marijuana market, combined with an estimate of marijuana consumers.

Helps States/Federal Government to Lower Budget Deficit

  • In 2015, the federal budget deficit hit an all time high of $1.5 trillion dollars
  • According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll "The Majority of Americans say they prefer cutting programs to increasing taxes a as a way to deal with the nation's budget deficit.
  • HOWEVER, the legalization of marijuana would give the government $13.7 billion dollars a year without cutting ANYTHING!
  • Jeffrey Miron estimated that with the increased tax on marijuana at about $6 billion this would help lower the budget deficit by one whole percent!

LET'S LOOK AT COLORADO:

  • Within the first 12 months that Colorado legalized marijuana the state has seen more than $300 million in sales of state-regulated pot.
  • Colorado has been faced with the problem of not knowing what to do with all of the money they are regulating... BECAUSE THEY ARE MAKING SO MUCH!
  • Banking Corporations are denying marijuana dispensaries to bank with them because marijuana is not legalized nationwide.
  • Legalization occurred all throughout the United States, businesses would not have to stress about what do with all the cash they are regulating.
  • In 2016, it is estimated to be a $1.2 billion industry.

Colorado Has Generated:

  • $12 million savings in criminal justice costs
  • $24 million in excise tax revenue
  • $8.7 million in state sales tax revenue
  • $14.5 million in local tax revenue
  • Along came thousands of more job opportunities

More Benefits Of Marijuana Legalization

  • Pot Tourists- are people who travel to states that have legalized marijuana to see what all the rage is about or perhaps to simply try marijuana legally for the first time.
  • Less Law Enforcement Officers- states that do not legalize marijuana require many extra law enforcement professionals to help deal with all the minor misdemeanor crimes of people getting caught with marijuana (states could use this money elsewhere).
  • Not having to Advertise Anti-Marijuana Laws- could cut all the money they spend advertising in multiples ways such as: commercials, billboards, internet ads, and magazines.
  • Cuts the Prohibition on Marijuana- if marijuana becomes legal and people cut the prohibition enforcement that cost people so much money yearly, states would save thirteen point seven billion dollars yearly.
  • More Job Opportunities- has created 10,000 new jobs per state alone. The marijuana industry makes up 0.4 percent of Colorado's 2.6 million jobs.

Frequent Concerns of Citizens:

Marijuana does more harm to the body than alcohol does since it is an "illegal" drug:

  • This statement is actually false. The long-term and short-term effects of alcohol on the body are worse than marijuana.
  • Long-Term Effects of Alcohol- liver disease, which can progress to fibrosis of the liver, which in turn can potentially lead to cancer
  • Long-Term Effects of Marijuana- minor issues to the body such as bronchitis, coughing, and inflammation of the air passages.
  • Short-Term Effects of Alcohol- consuming a large among of alcohol in a short period of time can shut down the brain, or even shut down a person's heart and respiration system.
  • Short-Term Effect of Marijuana- impairment of coordination along with balance and possibly the risk of hurting oneself.
  • Obama said during an interview in 2014. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol" (referring to marijuana)

The legalization of marijuana will bring harm into the state that legalizes it:

  • State government set strong restrictions on the laws of selling and distributing marijuana.
  • Age Restriction: Must be 21 in order to buy recreational marijuana
  • In order to to prevent people from "drugged driving" (driving while under the influence of marijuana) lawmakers created a threshold for five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
  • Lawmakers have also put limitations on how many marijuana plants people can grow at a time. People can grow six plants at a time.
  • Restrictions in order to ensure citizens stay safe and unharmed