The time for a national referendum on legalizing marijuana on the federal level, is long overdue. Why can’t an adult over 21 make an informed decision to purchase a small amount of legal marijuana, for which he will be taxed, and that tax be used by his state and local governments to improve the quality of life in that state? This certainly beats having to break the law, purchase black market drugs to which other more dangerous substances may be added, and if caught buying or using marijuana, an otherwise upstanding citizen could be facing jail time. While it is fairly unlikely that a first time user would be jailed, still getting caught provides needless hassles, and a second offense brings along sentencing.
Before we wrap up, let’s talk money. Money is the main reason marijuana is legal in any state. Here are some numbers which show how powerful this industry has become and how much it is returning to its citizens.
California had sales of both medical and recreational pot to the tune of $2.74 billion in 2018. This has yielded over $160 million in state revenue in the first half of that year. Its northern neighbors, Washington and Oregon, followed — Washington State with sales climbing above one billion dollars and Oregon with sales from both medical and recreational at about $975 million. Both of these states have returned mega millions to their communities from tax revenues.
It’s time to rethink the opposition to legalizing marijuana. Let’s grow up in our thinking. Stop putting people in jail for using an herb which grows freely all over the world, and has a myriad of medicinal uses. Let’s allow informed adults the right to purchase and use marijuana the same way the can buy alcohol or tobacco. Let’s make its procurement safer and easier, taking the criminal element out of the equation, and let’s allow the state governing bodies the chance to benefit from its taxes the same way they do with beer and cigarettes.