Cannabis has been portrayed negatively for a long time, leaving little room for deliberations and insights into its use. However, recent times have seen people warming up to the subject and considerable efforts to demystify the drug. While many many remain skeptical about cannabis, a large percentage of the population has embraced it for its numerous benefits.
While most people use cannabis for recreation, many would-be conservatives are adopting its use for medical gains. Some of its health benefits include pain management in chronic ailments, relieving anxiety, managing glaucoma, and boosting recovery for cancer patients. The Cannabis industry is projected to grow exponentially as more states legalize its use. Governments worldwide are warming up to legalization’s economic prospects and only time will tell when the drug is decriminalized and restored to its unregulated past. Cannabis can help global economies by:
Creation of Employment
Lack of job opportunities is a significant problem in many parts of the world. A large pool of skilled and semi-skilled citizens pose a logistical challenge for governments, which are unable to create a corresponding number of jobs. The Cannabis industry has many players in its chain and legalization will create the following positions:
Farming Cannabis will create jobs not just for farmers but for farm laborers involved in tilling, spraying, pruning, harvesting, and transport. Agricultural companies will rush to make products like fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides needed by farmers.
The current assortment of Cannabis products, despite legalization in just a few states, is a testament to the plant’s enormous potential. Legalization will create processing jobs for factory workers, line managers, and drivers.
An increase in production will create lower cannabis costs and give bulk buyers and stockists ample opportunities. This will, in turn, create jobs for cashiers, store managers, clerks, cleaners, and transporters.
Currently, dispensing companies like Homegrown Cannabis Co. are doing an excellent job, ensuring a wide range of products is available for the user.
With the growth of technology, more companies are resorting to online business for their products. This creates a demand for drivers and dispatchers.
Improved Tax Revenues
Most of the world’s Cannabis is sold in the black market, denying states millions in revenues. However, states that have already legalized are already reaping the benefits. For instance, in 2019 alone, the state of Colorado collected over $ 302 million as tax on recreational and medical marijuana. If all states legalize marijuana, the potential revenue is enormous. With better revenues, governments can:
Provide Better Services
Sometimes, states are unable to provide efficient services due to limited budgets. With better revenues, state institutions get better financial allocations to improve service delivery and client experience.
Infrastructural projects are expensive and require proper planning. Better revenues brought by the legalization of cannabis will go a long way to fund projects like roads, improving citizens’ quality of life.
Save Governments Money
Regulations around cannabis have created a demand for reinforcement to ensure that lawbreakers do not go scot-free. Millions are spent to finance enforcement activities like allocating police officers and vehicles for patrol and surveillance every year. Legalizing means money spent on detention and prosecution is available for other causes.
Decongest Prison Facilities
Prison facilities are always on the verge of spilling with inmates. Every year, thousands face arrest and jail for illegal farming, use, transport and sale of marijuana. Many end up behind bars, significantly reducing available space in prisons. If marijuana is legalized, many inmates jailed for marijuana-related illegalities will get their freedom, enabling prison facilities to experience less crowding.
Growth of Related Industries
Since marijuana’s legalization in some states, industries related to marijuana derivatives have experienced a boost. Businesses that have registered gains include spa business offering cannabis beauty products, bakeries and eateries making cannabis edibles, pharmaceutical companies producing medical marijuana, firms offering packaging for cannabis products, cannabis beverage companies, and making cannabis accessories.
Reduction of Criminal Activities
Cannabis remains mostly illegal in many states. However, the black market is ever thriving with new entrants and cartels keen on making quick bucks from unlawful sales. This illicit trade attracts all types of people, including criminals. Cannabis-related crime includes drug wars by feuding peddlers and driving under the influence. Making cannabis legal means that users do not have to visit dangerous backstreets to get the drug. Additionally, there will be no more drug wars as there are few gains when everyone can access the drug at will.
Legalizing cannabis will create a competitive environment among industry players like never before. This means that cannabis companies will have to work extra hard to develop products that can give them a competitive edge. Legalization will bring together people from all walks of life and this diversity can lead to new insights and discoveries to revolutionize aspects like production and use.
Without a doubt, cannabis legalization has great potential to revive economies and spur growth. However, it is prudent to factor in various concerns that may hinder the benefits of legalization. For legalization to make sense, states should:
Provide Clear Legislation
Without clearly defined rules and regulations, legalizing cannabis will create problems with the interpretation that may lead to wrongful detentions. As states move to legalize cannabis, it is crucial to eliminate grey areas in legislation.
Institute Quality Control Measures
Currently, there are no clear guidelines on cannabis farming and production. Given the number of people using cannabis for medical purposes, proper studies should be carried out to clear doubts and tons of misinformation about marijuana’s health benefits and capabilities. Additionally, states should offer guidelines on best farming practices to protect users from exposure to contaminated cannabis. Farmers also need state-accredited stores to buy cannabis seeds certified for cultivation
Many stakeholders are concerned about the impact of legalization on minors and adolescents. It is hard enough to control kids in the modern age and parents may have little control over what their kids do behind their backs. States need to protect minors from exposure to cannabis, which may affect their cognitive ability if introduced too early in life. Similarly, traders found selling cannabis to minors should face legal action as a deterrence to other unscrupulous traders.