Without question, public opinion is evolving on legalized and medical marijuana. The well-documented benefits and increased availability of cannabis has, in fact, changed many people’s stance on the drug’s use. As more states have passed medicinal and legalized marijuana laws, many have begun to reap the positive economic benefits as well. These states are seeing how legalized marijuana can improve tax revenue, create new jobs, reduce the strain on the criminal justice system, and provide practical relief for individuals that may have previously turned to other pharmaceutical sources of pain relief.
Understanding the Economic Advantages
The influx of revenue from taxes on legal and medical marijuana is relatively high. In 2019, the state of Colorado collected more than $302 million in taxes and fees related to medical and recreational marijuana sales. Oregon recently used millions of dollars in revenue from cannabis taxes to invest in its schools and public health services. These types of positive economic experience have helped other states in their consideration of legalizing marijuana for their residents. Such financial opportunities will only continue to grow as marijuana access improves.
More Marijuana Equals More Jobs
The job opportunities presented by legalized marijuana are immediate and abundant. From sales and marketing to farming and distribution, the demand for legalized marijuana rises each year. As such, the demand for employees with industry experience will also increase. In recent years, there have been over 64,000 full-time legal cannabis jobs created throughout the United States. This number is expected to grow considerably as more states legalize cannabis.
Neighborhood Dispensaries Lower Crime Rates
The societal benefits of legalized marijuana are also being felt throughout the country. Because owning and using marijuana is no longer a crime in many states, law enforcement agencies have more time and resources available to address more pressing crimes in their municipalities. And, in one surprising study in Colorado, it was discovered that opening a marijuana dispensary in a neighborhood actually decreased crime rates by as much as 19 percent.
Today, there’s ample opportunity for states who have yet to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana to begin reaping the economic and societal benefits for themselves. Hopefully, as more and more data becomes available, states who have yet to adopt favorable marijuana laws can join the ranks of those who are already seeing the positive results from their decision. If you have any questions related to medical marijuana prescription use or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Emerald Health Advocates today.