Marijuana legalization has NOT led to more drug or alcohol abuse among young people
Cannabis activists proclaim the benefits of legal marijuana, while opponents suggest it will lead to increased drug abuse and crime. Turns out both groups may be wrong.
Liberalized marijuana laws appear to have little positive or negative impact, according to a new working paper by researchers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Harvard University and Western Carolina University. In fact, more liberal marijuana laws have had “minimal impact” on marijuana use, other substance use, alcohol consumption or crime rates, the study found.
The paper, which was distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, based its findings on data from the annual surveys of high-school seniors conducted by Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study of American youth that began in 1975.
Delaware Task Force Digs into the Details of Legalizing Pot
DOVER, Del. (AP) — From stoned driving to the taxation of marijuana, Delaware would face multiple vexing challenges if lawmakers ever legalize recreational cannabis use, and a state task force is getting ready to dig into those issues.
The panel’s first meeting Wednesday came amid a broader national debate, with a bill introduced in Congress last month to legalize cannabis nationwide, at the same time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to crack down on the legalized marijuana industry.
While eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana, each has done so through referendum, which Delaware does not allow. Vermont lawmakers approved a legalization bill earlier this year, but the measure was vetoed by the state’s Republican governor.
That leaves the possibility that Delaware could be the first state to implement legalization through the legislative process.
The People vs. Marijuana
Cannabis prisoner Luke Scarmazzo speaks from solitary Confinement.
Although we have made significant progress with state-level marijuana law reform, there’s still much to be done. For starters, we must fight for changes at the federal level and demand that every man and woman serving draconian prison terms for marijuana be sent home. These are the men and women that stood up for many of the rights we take for granted today.
It’s absolutely absurd that in a time when you can legally buy marijuana from a store a mile outside the prison gates, that we still have Americans serving life for pot. It is a stain on the fabric of justice and a sin on the national conscience.
Marijuana Legalization: Economic Benefits
Marijuana Legalization: Economic Benefits
Unfairly lumped together with dangerous illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine, marijuana - as plenty of studies have shown - is no likely more harmful than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. Research has even shown that marijuana has plenty of health benefits, ranging from pain and stress relief to treatment in certain rare diseases.
As such, decriminalized use of marijuana is gradually gaining acceptance in the world today. Aside from having recreational and medicinal benefits, there are also economic benefits to legalizing marijuana, as some parts of the world have discovered recently.
Increased Tax Revenues for the Government
In 2015, the U.S. state of Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees from medicinal and recreational marijuana. Total sales in the state nearly reached a staggering $1 billion for that year as well, according to this infographic about legalizing marijuana. Obviously, there's money to be made in the legalization of cannabis.
Since many states consider the marijuana industry as a vice, like alcohol, taxes levied on the substance is high. The industry accepts it as a cost of doing business. Financially, it all works out for all the stakeholders concerned.
The government can then harness the vast financial reserves for more important issues like healthcare, public utilities, and infrastructure projects.
Decreased Government Spending on Prohibition
According to a consensus of economists, cannabis prohibition costs the local and federal government billions every year. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that legalizing marijuana could save the government around $7.7 billion per year in enforcement expenditures.
These costs mostly come from the burden on the justice and penal system, as well as state and federal law enforcement's time and resources. Given the widespread availability of marijuana nowadays, the government's expensive war on cannabis seems to be practically ineffective anyway.
More Jobs, Increased Incomes
Marijuana nurseries and pot dispensaries are part of a state's regulation and control on the said substance. These establishments, in addition to requiring employees, can also jump start the economic activity around their areas. The increased traffic in the area can be an economic boost to nearby businesses.
An RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group study notes that legalizing recreational marijuana in the state can result in the creation of over 41,000 jobs until 2024, as well as generating over $1.7 billion in labor income.
Weakening Drug Cartels, Underground Markets
Selling illegal weapons and drugs is a wildly lucrative enterprise that criminal cartels and organizations regularly delve into. Legalizing marijuana cuts into a significant portion of these miscreants' profit streams and transfers the revenues to licensed businesses, and ultimately, the government through taxes.
In addition, the government gains the ability to properly regulate the use of marijuana in their jurisdictions, given its legal status. They can then set standards for marijuana nurseries and dispensers to follow, as well as control where marijuana can be used.
It's clear that there are plenty of benefits to legalizing marijuana. Aside from recreational and medicinal benefits, marijuana legalization can also result in an economic boon for governments. Taxation of cannabis can be a potential gold mine of revenue for any government, provided it has proper regulations and standards in place.
Chile Legalized Medical Marijuana but Home Cultivators Still Risk Being Criminalized
In 2015, Chile legalized medical marijuana and now residents of the country are increasingly growing cannabis for medical purposes as the nation begins to loosen prohibition during the implementation process. Advocates of the cannabis plant are working hard to ensure Chileans with chronic pain have the skills and understanding about how to grow marijuana, even though doing so is still a legal gray area.
Movimental, or “The Movement”, is a non profit organization who is an autonomous, democratic, participative and self-funded organization that includes both users and non-users of cannabis, and their principal objective is to end the prohibitionist policies that have not provided any positive results in recent history. According to the organization, the past and current policies have generated more problems than solutions, incarcerating thousands and thousands of recreational and medicinal users of cannabis, and exposing them to more dangerous situations than the cannabis itself, and thus creating a culture of narco trafficking.
Weed Finally Decriminalized in New Hampshire
The “Live Free or Die” state just became the last and final one in New England to eliminate the possibility of jail time for possession of small amounts of weed.
Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill to remove criminal penalties for possessing up to three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis or up to five grams of hash.
But, in the words of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper spoken in 2012, don’t “break out the Cheetos or goldfish” just yet.
Decriminalization doesn’t take effect for 60 days, so take out your calendars and start counting.
The new law makes possessing weed a violation-level offense with a fine of up to $300 for adults. Minors caught with either would be subject to a delinquency petition. Someone can be charged with a misdemeanor, however, if they are found with marijuana for a fourth time within a three-year period.
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