California NORML calculates that a marijuana market which is legally regulated could yield the state over $1 billion through tax revenues and would save at least $200 million in law enforcement costs. Other benefits could come in form of social empowerment. There would be an increase in employment opportunities, and criminal records would be revised. California is about to experience a boon with the commercialization of legal weed—a process that might see the marijuana industry become one of the major revenue earners for the state; more important than the $3.4 billion cotton industry.
Before its full legalization in January 2018, surveys show that about 500 thousand Californians use recreational weed daily. The numbers will get bigger. More distributors would be required to cater to the needs of the growing population of recreational weed users. As the market spreads, more people get employed. Criminal records relating to marijuana offenses may be removed and in some cases, expunged.
California is the sixth largest economy in the world, and still, has a high poverty rating. Most of the poor families in California are African American citizens. Many African Americans were made unemployable because of marijuana related offence convictions. If they could get those records erased, it would be an opportunity for them to raise their standards of living as law abiding people.
The full legalization of weed in California is not only right; California did weed legalization the right way. When California Proposition 64 was passed, it wasn’t solely for fiscal reasons. It also permits people who have past cannabis-related crimes to apply to have them reduced or erased completely. For the state, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) estimate the figures of eligible applicants to be more than a million.
If one million people could join the society by having access to business licenses and loans; getting decent jobs; and being able to express their civic rights, they would become self-sufficient and more responsible. Criminalization of cannabis has really done more harm than good, and there are three key dimensions. First, families are separated when you put people who have parental obligations behind bars. Second, they literally can’t get decent jobs to support themselves and relatives. Third, they’re put in lifelong financial impediments as they’re not eligible to apply for public housing or higher education aids.
Prop. 64 did not only open a new economic channel, it also adopted some very crucial criminal justice reforms. The challenge for the advocates of weed legalization is to make the affected population aware that they now have certain rights that would integrate them more into society.
What many people know is that recreational cannabis is now legal in California. What they do not know is that there is a 60-page document with written policies that would regulate the production and distribution of marijuana. The marijuana industry will operate under regulations that would make it difficult for drug criminals to thrive. It is a sublime method that tackles crime and saves public funds in the long run. Now that recreational weed is legalized, people will purchase through legal channels.
The drug war consumed more than $100 billions. California knew that making recreational marijuana use legal would mitigate funds expended on enforcing drug laws and that money could be used upgrade the security infrastructure in the state. When more people have access to jobs, loans, and other social privileges, they become less interested in crime. These reasons and many more is why we believe that California Prop. 64 brought the Golden state good tidings.