The good, the bad and the ugly: Legalization of marijuana?




The attempt to make marijuana legal in the United States has been controversial for many years. Recently, various states across the country have made cannabis legal. Other states, however, refuse to make this change. The real question to be asked is why? Why have some states decided to legalize marijuana, while others are against it?

Already, 19 states have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. One reason for it is the economic benefits their state has reaped. Sales of marijuana have resulted in massive tax revenues. According to Investopedia, “In 2021, Washington collected $559.5 million of legal marijuana revenue, over $85 million more revenue than in 2020. Meanwhile, Colorado collected $423 million of marijuana tax revenue in 2021, up almost 10% from the year prior.” States like California and Nevada have created numerous jobs and economic impacts just by setting up dispensaries for medical marijuana. 41,000 jobs in the state of Nevada could be provided just by the legalization of recreational marijuana, according to an RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group study on Nevada. In California, about 81,000 direct and indirect jobs were created by legal marijuana sales. If they were to make marijuana legal all over the U.S., billions of dollars could be saved. Making and keeping something illegal is incredibly expensive and leads to money spent on things like enforcement and even incarcerations from trials. Also, individuals who already use medical marijuana would be saved a considerable amount of money due to commoditization and prices dropping overall. Public support states that legalizing cannabis will reduce street crime and even reduce business operations from drug cartels. If marijuana becomes legal, it would be subject to undergo required testing to be FDA-approved and could require testing and child-proof packing so that usage becomes safer in general.