According to a recent Think Progress piece, legalizing marijuana is a very lucrative idea for the economy, workers in the industry and the government:
It turns out pot is a stronger economic driver than 90 percent of the industries active in Colorado.
Legal weed created 18,005 full-time jobs and added about $2.4 billion to the state’s economy last year, an analysis from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG)shows.
Between the dollars that customers spend and the money businesspeople invest in their crops and shops, pot is generating more wealth and activity than almost anything else on a pound-for-pound basis. Every dollar spent in the industry generates between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity. Only federal government spending has a higher multiplier.
Couple this with the insane rate of incarceration for marijuana possession, and I just don’t see the upside to keeping it illegal:
Law enforcement officers made just over 700,000 arrests on marijuana-related charges in 2014, according to data released by the FBI on Monday. Of that total, 88.4 percent — or about 619,800 arrests — were made for marijuana possession alone, a rate of about one arrest every 51 seconds over the entire year.
Every 51 seconds someone is arrested. Thousands of people each year are locked up for taking a drug that is arguably far safer and less destructive than alcohol, which is legal.
This is insanity. Total insanity.
Make it legal already. Allow the government to regulate and tax it. Make it safe for the consumer and if people want to do it, let them. We have to stop locking people up for this. It’s ruining lives.
Just say you’re arrested for marijuana possession. You’re convicted. You go to jail and now you have a criminal record. It’s harder to find a job, make money, support yourself and your family. You’re now contributing less to the economy and the whole goddamn thing is just a bloody waste of time and resources.
If you’re reading this you might be thinking I just want it legalized because I enjoy marijuana, and you’d be wrong. The smell turns my stomach. However, it’s stupid to ruin lives trying to prevent people from smoking marijuana.
People are doing it anyways, and it’s their body. Put those police resources to better use, because crimes are going unsolved while you lock people up for smoking a joint:
Angell also pointed to FBI data showing that clearance rates for a number of violent crimes have been historically low in recent years. More than a third of murders went unsolved in 2014, for example.
“There’s just no good reason that so much police time and taxpayer money is spent punishing people for marijuana when so many murders, rapes and robberies go unsolved,” Angell said.
Legalize it. Legalize it in America and Canada. Stop wrecking lives and wasting resources.