As the Democratic party has made its way into the White House, marijuana users hope for a push toward legalization. However, like most of President Biden’s generation, he is not fond of the idea. Yet, that is a crucial mistake because cannabis usage will change the U.S. for the better.
The nation has continuously grown to support legalization over the last decade because the cannabis community is growing. According to PEW Research , two-thirds of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. They stated “the share of U.S. adults who oppose legalization has fallen from 52% in 2010 to 32% today.”
There are vast party and generational divides in marijuana legalization opinions, as there have been in prior history. Within both party groupings, there is a generational difference on marijuana legalization. The history of the federal prohibition on marijuana possession is steeped in negative racial attitudes towards African Americans and Mexicans.
Nowadays, society has undergone a transformation to become more inclusive. As a rising number of governments legalize marijuana for medical or recreational uses, public support for legal marijuana has expanded. So why not be inclusive and make everything legal?
Debunking the negative stereotype
Let’s debunk the marijuana stigma. Several nations have previously recognized marijuana as a soft drug, distinct from more hazardous substances. Diverse therapeutic effects have been attributed to it. While marijuana has certain downsides, the benefits far exceed the negatives.
The federal prohibition on marijuana possession has a long history of discrimination against African Americans and Mexicans. In southern areas, farmers planted hemp rather than cannabis as a significant income crop. Hemp prospered in the United States until the 1910s when Mexicans popularized cannabis for recreational purposes. The war on marijuana arose from Americans’ rising resentment towards Mexican immigrants following the Mexican Revolution.
The negative stigma also dates back to when it was listed as a schedule I drug. A negative connotation was brought upon the substance due to its association with other hardcore substances like heroin, ecstasy, quaaludes and more. However, its positive effects show the drug to be beneficial for mental health and other disorders/ailments.
It’s time to drop the stigma and see how life-changing marijuana can be to a person’s daily life.
Pros and cons
Many people can argue the cons of marijuana: addictive nature, altered perception, gateway drug status, increase in stoned driving and related cases, increased chances of the drug falling into the hands of children, the danger of second-hand smoke to bystanders, damage to the brain, poor lung health, risk of getting heart disease and poor mental health. Yet, society could say the same for alcohol and cigarette usage. People continue to invest in those markets each and every day.
The pros of marijuana strongly set back the cons making the substance beneficial to the public and the economy. Some pros of marijuana are personal freedom, boost in revenue, more effective criminal justice and law enforcement, less money to support organized crime, safety controls, medical benefits for cancer patients, reduced street justice-related disputes, loss of business for drug dealers and more.
Marijuana has helped people in countless ways with pains, ailments, disorders, mental health and so on. People can rely on cannabis instead of any harsh medical treatments or medicines. They can use a natural substance to compress their weight of stress.
Legalizing cannabis makes sense
The National Youth Leadership Network posted this news broadcast from Huffington Post’s take on marijuana, “Why Legalizing Weed Just Makes Sense.”
As trends have gone over the last decade, people follow them. For marijuana, people smoke it and use its benefits where it is legal. If the rest of the states legalized marijuana, the trend would spread like any other.
From an economic standpoint, supply increases in demand and the product usually loses quality. However, cannabis is not just some toy or appliance on the market. Since so many of the medical benefits are still unknown or not explored enough, the quality will rise and people will gain more knowledge about it.
Another significant advantage of the rising marijuana industry is that tax revenue may be used for education, healthcare and any other purpose the government desires. The current money received from states varies according to the population of the state, the length of time the program has been in place and the manner of taxing.
A handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana, but the business is still in its infancy. Studies have anticipated more for states that have had a market for at least three years in 2021. Here’s how much money these states generate once their marketplaces are fully operational. These states are unlikely to see these figures until at least three years after establishing a market. In the early years, amounts in the lower million range are more plausible. However, if more states continue to join at this rate, income will increase.
Creating employment opportunities
With the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in an increasing number of states, the legal cannabis market is increasing, and it is a flourishing industry. There are employment opportunities available in a variety of areas and for a variety of skill sets. Currently, the job sets are simple, however, they may change in the future:
Budtender– A “budtender” works in a dispensary to be friendly and address questions, offer accurate information and be the customer’s go-to person for purchasing goods.
Edible Maker– This job has evolved as recreational and medical marijuana has become available in a variety of forms, including baked products, candies and tea. For example, edible chefs are directly responsible for developing recipes and making commodities. Working on an assembly line, labeling and packing are just a few of the additional jobs available in the edibles sector.
Vaporizer Retailer– As vaporizers become more popular, a slew of new outlets devoted only to the sale of smokeless devices are springing up. People with industrial experience have grown to dedicate their time to this area in order to bring convenience.
Delivery Person– Many dispensaries provide delivery services to patients who have been authorized medicinal marijuana but are unable to leave their homes to pick up their prescriptions. Truck drivers are also recruited to transfer merchandise to other areas.
Store Manager– As more dispensaries open, shop managers are needed to ensure that each one runs well. With that kind of knowledge in business management, you can rest assured that the stores will function smoothly.
Cashier– In dispensaries and storefronts, cashiers are needed to greet clients, answer their queries and ring up sales. This is an excellent entry-level opportunity.
Security Guard– Dispensaries, production sites and other locations where medicinal marijuana is grown and transported require security guards. They’re required because it’s a medical/recreational substance.
Production Manager– Production managers supervise and analyze the whole product cycle. Production managers are present throughout the process, from seed planting through harvesting, and into the output.
Website/Social Media Manager– Internet, social media and emailing administrators are required to manage dispensaries’ and marijuana enterprises’ digital presences. They even need the marketing and PR firms that support them. The marijuana profession, like any other business, relies on these media employees to get their brand out to the public.
Harvester– Growing, clipping, and bagging marijuana are all part of the harvesting process. These entry-level positions are typically labor-intensive.
Lowering incarceration rates allowing safe usage
An increase in marijuana usage will decrease alcohol drinking rates. Drunk driving has been an issue for years and has taken away so much from citizens. Stoned driving is not any better and still illegal, but it is safer than drunk driving. The change in perception from the two substances can affect the simplest habits, like driving.
Almost every minute, a marijuana arrest is made. Countless numbers of people have been incarcerated for marijuana possession and distribution. Some of those people spend more time in prison than murderers, which is not morally right at all.
Changing this policy and law will lower prison numbers and allow people to live freely.
Overall, legalizing marijuana will change a vast amount of people’s lives for the better. This is 2022 and there is room for change. The cannabis industry will produce safer substance usage, better economic status, tax revenue for education and healthcare, produce jobs and let our nation live freely (and calmly).