Advocates of cannabis will always be able to name off several reasons why cannabis should be legal, recreationally or medicinally. The positive effects are plentiful, but for years the plant has been prohibited in the United States and all over the world for whatever reason. Hemp, the cousin of cannabis, was once a necessity for farmers to grow in the United States when the country was under British control. Britain used hemp for many things, but most importantly to build sails for their powerful armada. It was literally illegal if it was not grown. Over the decades, times have changed, but it appears that the tide is turning back as several states are legalizing or decriminalizing cannabis, and the plant is once again becoming the norm. However, there are still several skeptics who do not believe in the plethora of benefits attached to the cannabis plant. So here's a list to help you rebuttal any naysayers.
Reasons to Legalize Cannabis Recreationally
Recreational cannabis is fun but it is also beneficial and firstly it helps the economy. Right now, looking at only seven states who have legalized cannabis, they collectively have grossed well over a billion dollars. When this number is multiplied by every state in America, the revenue is tremendous and something that cannot be ignored.
New jobs are also something that will come with the territory of legalizing recreational cannabis as an entirely new industry will be created and people will need to fill those new jobs. Budtenders, trimmers, growers and security guards are just the tip of the iceberg as cannabis legislation brings with it unique jobs for the people that they can be proud of working.
More than $17 billion dollars is what it costs the U.S. state and federal governments each year to keep cannabis illegal. Millions have been arrested on petty, nonviolent drug offenses, and most of them are people of color. So far this year in New York City alone, 6,604 arrests for cannabis have been made and 93 percent of those were black people. The War on Drugs has almost exclusively affected neighborhoods filled with people of color over the past decades. By legalizing recreational cannabis in these communities that were literally destroyed by the War on Drugs, they could now benefit from the same drug that tore their homes apart. With programs like the Drug Reparations program in Oakland, we could see these effects overturned and all Americans thriving in a country with legalized recreational cannabis.
Another reason to legalize recreational cannabis is tourism. People from states and cities who do not have legalized recreational cannabis will flock to cities that do to see what it is all about. And when they show up, they will have money to blow. Cannabis-themed Bed and Breakfasts, cannabis cafes, Weed Tours, high-end cannabis cuisine are just a few of the things “ganjapreneurs” have thought about thus far. But that list is sure to grow and with it the tourism industry that will do nothing but benefit states that have legalized the plant for recreational enjoyment. Who does not want to see all the fun ways cannabis can be enjoyed?
Reasons to Legalize Cannabis Medically
In 1850, cannabis was a part of the American pharmacopeia and was used until the Marihuana Tax Act was put into effect in 1937. There have been several conspiracies as to why this happened – like King Cotton was terrified of the power of hemp and Big Pharma taking over the medical industry. Either way, generations have known about the positive effects of cannabis and now we are finally catching back on.
But it’s never too late.
Currently, there is an opioid crisis in America as thousands of individuals are developing addictions to prescription drugs made legally and prescribed legally. Cannabis has been a proven alternative to several opioids as even retired athletes have vouched for medicinal cannabis use as opposed to highly addictive pills they are given in locker rooms.
One of the main arguments advocates for cannabis prohibition have against the plant is that we do not know exactly what it does. With that being said, cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means the government believes it has no medicinal benefits. If cannabis becomes legalized scientists are then able to study the plant and see exactly what it does to our body, both good and bad so we can use it for the former and prevent the latter.
CBD is the future of the pharmaceutical industry as consumers are now more focused on what is going into their bodies. Gone are the days where individuals just pop whatever pills their doctor gives them – they want to know what it is and how it will effect them. The FDA has already approved the first ever drug derived from the nonpsychoactive component in cannabis CBD, Epidiolex, which helps treat epilepsy. It's only a matter of time before there is a whole line of drugs derived from the plant all with plentiful benefits for the consumers and all for the better of this country and humankind.