It’s happening around us today – marijuana reform. After years of advocacy, our government is finally taking notice of the upsides to legalization of cannabis. Now that we’ve passed medical marijuana laws in 23 states and the District of Columbia and legalized recreational use in four states, we’re seeing three key benefits of legalizing marijuana in these programs.
Legalizing marijuana benefits every state in which it takes place. It’s a diamond mine of tax dollars to be used for the betterment of schools, roads, community programs and drug education programs. Colorado generated 53 million dollars in tax revenue in the first year of legal recreational pot sales.
The implementation of legal marijuana programs nationwide would allow for best practices to be developed and maintained. Regulation increases the safety of marijuana cultivation as well as allowing the government to collect data regarding its use. It drastically decreases demand for black market cannabis that might be generating income for dealers of lethal drugs like heroin and methamphetamine.
19 states and the District of Columbia have already decriminalized offenses including small amounts of marijuana deemed to be held for personal use. As more states follow suit, it allows our overloaded corrections system to focus more appropriately on offenders who present a danger to society. An otherwise law-abiding person with a small bag of weed doesn’t belong behind bars with meth manufacturers, rapists and murderers.
We’re excited to see the changes take place as more states embrace green change. Do you live in a green state? Share your stories of how legalization has impacted life in your community below.