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Recreational cannabis has been legalized in eight states, and Washington D.C., and medicinal cannabis is now legal is 29 states. Legalized cannabis is proving to bring positive changes to those states that are making history and making progress, but it is still illegal in too many places. Here are five reasons cannabis needs to be legalized right now.

1. Medical and recreational cannabis creates jobs

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The cannabis industry is opening the door to many employment opportunities. From trimmer to budtender, anyone can put their skills to good use in the green scene.

Because medical and recreational cannabis businesses are legal in some states, they provide year-round work. In addition to offering consistent work, they also provide a stable income. Not to mention, these jobs are helping to boost the economy.

2. 89% of 2015 cannabis-related charges were for possession only

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During 2015, police put 643,121 in the US under arrest for cannabis-related charges. Despite the plant resulting in zero overdoses, the government, courts, and police are locking people up for its use and possession. Meanwhile, there are roughly 48 million individuals that admit to abusing opioids in the United States.

3. Decreased law enforcement costs and increased tax revenue

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After cannabis became legal in Colorado, cannabis arrests dropped over 90% the first year, according to the Drug Policy Alliance’s status report. Each arrest, in particular, costs roughly $300 to adjudicate. That’s a lot of money that the state is saving.

Likewise to cigarettes, recreational cannabis is highly taxed. With this in mind, the money goes into the hands of city coffers rather than shady dealers.

4. Colorado’s economy is booming

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Denver’s economy has come a long way thanks to legalization. Not only are public schools bringing in more money, but Denver is becoming one of the best places to be in general.

From the friendly people to the improved infrastructure, everyone wants to be in Denver. Not to mention, their crime rate is dropping significantly. Of course, the funding happens to be coming from cannabis. Imagine that.

5. Legalized sales creates a safer environment

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By regulating cannabis sales, customers know what they are getting and can make purchases from protected facilities. Rather than turning to a shady dealer for their bud, consumers can rely on trained staff in a professional atmosphere.

Not only does purchasing weed in a legal environment decrease the potential risk of the person getting caught, but it also helps keep the person out of harm’s way.

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