By now, everyone knows the many medicinal properties of cannabis. Its cannabinoids have therapeutic effects on the body, as do terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds in cannabis plants. However, using illegal or legal weed will not change this fact, although legal weed does promise better quality. The law requires all cannabis undergo laboratory testing before sale, so you know if it is good or not.
No. The question of whether to smoke licensed, legal buds or illegal ones is not about health, even if illegal buds do carry some risks, such as pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants. There are some good backstreet dealers still. Illegal weed is not always harmful, only some of it. The question of which buds to toke is more about avoiding arrest and supporting various social and economic projects.
Economic Benefits of Legal Weed
Economic statistics for cannabis are mindboggling. It is a multibillion-dollar industry. Despite the many knocks this market is taking, which greatly affect weed stocks, such as the vaping controversy and now COVID-19, the industry continues unabated, getting stronger each time. This is an unstoppable market, with marijuana delivery ingrained already. Legal cannabis promises a few notable economic benefits:
The cannabis industry is employing folks. People you know in your communities can work in dispensaries, trim buds, grow, harvest, and make extracts and edibles, find positions in laboratories, consult, and so much more. This is among the fastest-growing markets in history, according to CNBC. It needs people, and lots of them. Legal weed can give folks you know an honest income.
What is more, cannabis pays. On average, it pays roughly 11 percent more than the average salary in the United States. Consultants, extraction technicians, chief financial officers, and dispensary managers can easily earn six-figure salaries. Of course, when the federal government legalizes cannabis recreationally, it would employ significant numbers of people nationwide.
The increase in tax revenues due to cannabis is staggering. Weed proves very lucrative for state coffers. It is generating billions in taxes just in California alone. The same is true in other legal states, such as Colorado, Washington, and even Maine. While many may feel annoyed at paying more taxes, there is massive benefit to increasing coffers for social, economic, and even infrastructure projects.
Pot taxes are higher than sales taxes, as much as 37 percent in places. California earned over $300 million in weed taxes just last year. This money can fund vital medical research, rehabilitation and addiction centers, schools, health programs, and other needed projects. There is just one disadvantage to all these taxes: Much of it goes toward regulating the cannabis market and overseeing compliance.
The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and all of its derivatives federally, breathed new life into the agricultural sector. Farmers now have immense opportunities and incentives for cultivating a new crop. For farmers, the benefits of legal weed are obvious and many. In 2016, the United States imported 57 percent less hemp than the previous year, and a further 17 percent in the first half of 2018.
All cannabis players are now investing in local production of cannabis and hemp, instead of importing from other states, even countries. Quality is better locally too. Farmers can now focus on industries that promise the most profit, since they have choices that are more lucrative. Buying legal weed allows farmers the chance to enter this extremely fast-growing industry and become serious players.
Social Benefits of Legal Weed
There are many social reasons to buy licensed, legal cannabis, employed, now independent friends and loved ones being just one of them. California and other states with liberal marijuana laws can utilize their tax monies in their own way. Each state can choose and decide on which social projects it must prioritize first. For the Golden State, cannabis is leading social reform. It does so in these ways:
Funding Social Programs
Tax monies generated from cannabis activities and sales can go toward improving education, policing, healthcare, helping vulnerable or endangered members of the community, and other social projects that uplift the community as a whole. The state spends some on state schools, some on mental health and addiction services, some on police, and even some on public health.
No Prohibition Costs
Prohibition is expensive. It is also extremely damaging to health, families, livelihoods, and lives. People sit in jail for no good reason, with lifelong criminal records. Ending prohibition will save all of these lives, improve community relations, and save the money spent on policing, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating folks for minor cannabis offenses, which CATO claims cost $6 federal billion in 2016.
With more folks employed, fewer will be supporting their families in criminal ways. Legalization does not increase crime rates. In fact, the opposite is true. Legalizing weed actually reduces many crimes notably; most obviously weed offenses, but also theft and other opportunity crimes. We all know how peaceful cannabis is. Nobody wants to be out committing crimes when stoned on the finest buds.
No Cannabis Busts
No more police raids for marijuana can only have positive social outcomes. Naturally, cannabis-related crimes, such as production, distribution, and possession plummet to near zero. There is no need for these scary weed busts anymore. No need to remove parents from homes, scare children, and break private property in the name of prohibition. Of course, this may still happen if you grow illegal weed.
As mentioned, marijuana does not make folks violent the way that alcohol does. A soothing, peaceful herb when “high,” good pot makes violent crime repulsive. According to Wiley’s Online Library, crime reports by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation between 1994 and 2012 show violent crime reducing by a whopping 15 percent after legalization in California. This includes incidents of domestic violence.
A police force not wasting time and resources on prohibition is freer to solve important crimes, such as murder, assault, robbery, fraud, and other crimes with actual victims. Crime clearance rates across all legal states are skyrocketing. Cops are solving cases. They are not chasing cannabis offenders anymore, but real criminals. Federal legalization would take this phenomenon national.
Marijuana Delivery in California
You can buy weed near anywhere in California. Not all of it is good quality, however, and much of it is unlicensed and illegal. A simple Google search for “weed delivery near me” will give you several trusted, credible, and legal vendors. Sadly, legal cannabis is a bit more expensive than the person on your corner is, but quality comes guaranteed, along with these much-needed economic and social benefits.