Despite President Trump showing support for medical marijuana during his presidential campaign, the world sees little evidence of it. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is actively fighting to ensure it stays illegal, and he is attacking the rights of states to make their own marijuana laws by asking Congress to override the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which protects them from federal persecution. Bad idea:
Top Five Reasons to Decriminalize Marijuana in the U.S.A.
Keeping pot illegal is a crime against humanity. With so much evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, proving its medicinal value, preventing people from using it for their health is simply outrageous. As research reveals more of its health benefits, the federal government will find itself facing many, many lawsuits in the future. That aside, there are five other important reasons for the U.S.A. to legalize:
1. Scientific Research
Currently, scientists have several obstacles in their way if they want to study marijuana. Because of its classification as a Schedule, I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the federal government will not provide funding for research into the risks and health benefits of using cannabis. Contrary to the increasingly obvious, categorizing weed as such means it “has no medicinal value.” That is incorrect.
Although scientists can and do research cannabis under limitations with private funding, it can take the federal government years to approve even a simple study. By reclassifying cannabis out of its Schedule I category, federal funds become available for research. It will also make it easier and less risky for scientists to study both the risks and benefits of medical and recreational marijuana.
2. Financial Savings
The federal government spends billions of dollars on prohibition. It must pay for all the innocent civilians it incarcerates for weed. Arresting and imprisoning people requires feeding them, maintaining their health, providing them with clothes and shelter, and much more. The money the government will save from having fewer non-violent offenders can practically rebuild the country.
Prison costs are not all the government will save, however. Law enforcement agencies will have more funds and resources available to fight the war on real drugs, those that have a direct association with rising violent crime rates. Perhaps they could arrest real criminals instead. Additionally, defunding all the prohibition lies and propaganda campaigns flooding the media will save vast sums of money too.
3. Educated Citizenry
Graduation rates at the high school level are frankly atrocious. The education system could use a major revamp. Some of the saved money could really help with this. Very frankly, scientific findings are available showing that crime rates among teens are significantly lower in states where medical marijuana is legal. High school graduation rates are also much higher.
Studies indicate that marijuana improves brain function over the long-term. It enhances memory, gross coordination, concentration, and overall cognitive function. It also boosts creativity and helps students stay motivated in the school setting. Although it is not wise to advocate teenage marijuana use, these results speak for themselves. An educated populace means a strong economy and brighter future for all.
4. Employment Growth
The economic benefits of legalized marijuana are obvious in every state that allows it. California’s cannabis industry is positively thriving. If the federal government agreed to decriminalize medical marijuana, it would create millions of jobs across the country and play a massive role in reducing unemployment figures and reliance on food stamps and other government benefits.
Many new opportunities could open up for currently jobless people. The industry would require growers, planters, packers, testers, manufacturers, equipment suppliers, soil experts, drivers, consultants, salespeople, and everyone between. It would give people the chance to earn a decent living with dignity and allow them to provide for themselves and their families.
5. Tax Revenue
Illegal drugs are non-taxable, obviously. Removing marijuana from the black market and bringing it into a regulated, legitimate, and taxed economic sector will not only harm drug cartels but also generate trillions in tax revenues nationwide. The cannabis industry in California alone is already worth billions in taxes. Legalize in all states and the figures become incomprehensible to most.
Capitalizing on marijuana taxes will swell fiscal coffers and help to reduce the national debt. The federal government could use it to fund its many programs and build roads and infrastructure. If used wisely, it can literally make America great again by fixing its ailing economy, improving its healthcare, educating its people, and ensuring the quality of life for all who live in it.
These are just a few reasons for the federal government to decriminalize marijuana. There is an abundance of others, including the fact that the overwhelming majority of citizens support legalization, whether for medical or recreational purposes. The government cannot ignore the demands of its people forever, and in the words of ex-President Barack Obama, it simply is “the right thing to do.”