In recent years, cannabis legalization has been easier to argue—its prevalence means that the population can’t immediately dismiss you when you bring up reform. Prior to this, it was common enough that the only people having this debate were hippies who loved smoking marijuana but maybe couldn’t construct useful arguments or didn’t see the potential of legalization past being able to smoke without stigma. However, as states continue to legalize, the benefits become more obvious and even politicians are jumping on board. Here are 5 of the best points of cannabis reform to help you in your next argument.
Have You Thought About the Money?
Right now, states without medical or recreational legislation see zero benefits from a million dollar industry. In the first year of legalization in Colorado, the industry brought in 53 million dollars which has been funneled into schools and educational programs. Granted this is just one state, but imagine the money that California could produce if they only changed policy. With an 18.6 trillion dollar debt, the fact that any industry in America (legal or not) is not paying its fair share to pay down the national debt is unfair.
Do You Know What Percentage of the Population is Behind Bars?
Since legalization in Denver, there has been a 10.1% drop in overall crime and 5.2% drop in violent crime. While there are other reasons this could be occurring, it’s not to be overlooked. Police in Denver are now able to focus their attention on more serious crimes with a larger budget. Before legalization, Colorado spent 60 million dollars a year enforcing cannabis prohibition—after legalization that number has dropped to 20 million for management of new laws.
Yes, We’re Actually Trying to Keep Kids Safe
Buying weed from a traditional pot dealer is far easier than a regulated market. Drug dealers rarely care if you are over 21 or should be smoking at all. A regulated market allows for cannabis professionals to check government-issued identification and ensure the customer uses the product correctly. These businesses are opening to make money for their employees and state; they will not jeopardize that by selling to a minor.
You Like Fine Wine; I Like Fine Buds
The quality of cannabis has hugely improved in the last century and will continue to get better and better. Dispensaries can select the best product for their stores along with an accurate CBD and THC rating for each plant. A regulated market means that regulations are in place to ensure the quality and validity of the product. After that, customers are given a selection of strains with proper labeling to best suit their needs.
Didn’t You Say You Hated Your Boss?
10,000 jobs in marijuana-related industries existed in Colorado state last year with an estimated 10% increase calculated for every month since. These jobs exist in horticulture, business/management, budtending, writing, marketing and research. There has been a high demand (pun intended) for cannabis jobs within the legal market, so perhaps states should consider letting citizens work in a desired and legal industry.
There are many positives to a legal cannabis market in America, and now with so many states taking progressive steps towards cannabis, the arguments are just getting easier. You don’t need to sound like a hippie to argue your case—just pull out the facts. They’re undeniable.
Featured image Micheal Knapek