Medical marijuana is full of possible opportunities, some large and some small. One of the largest opportunities would be the governments ability of taxation. Medical marijuana can be used to relieve many types of conditions. It can be used to effectively relieve pain for individuals that suffer from serious conditions such as AIDs and Cancer, and also less serious conditions such as nausea and eating disorders.
Marijuana is by far less toxic than most of the prescription drugs that are prescribed every day to people suffering with a range of medical conditions. The pharmaceutical companies already have plenty of money to go around, why not let the government make some in tax. There are only fourteen states that have passed medical marijuana laws since 1996. America needs to listen to the thousands of very satisfied medical users and the thousands of scientists that prove medical marijuana is a smart choice, on top of the numerous economists that support and back it. It is time to change the federal laws on marijuana to allow medical use in every state and to be allowed to benefit from the revenue created by marijuana.
The government would be able to charge a sin tax on medical marijuana, making this a highly profitable item for them. The same type of sin tax that is on tobacco sales and liquor sales. A sin tax is normally a higher percentage than a regular sales tax. A Harvard economist has estimated that the government could raise $7billion in annual revenues if marijuana is taxed (Bineli). There is an estimated forty million users of marijuana either for medical use or recreational use in the United States. A recent government survey found one in ten people in the United States use marijuana on a semi regular basis, this includes medical and recreational.(NORML) Billions of dollars being brought in though the taxation of marijuana could be used to dwindle away our national debt and possibly help pull our economy out of the current slump. By allowing people to legally purchase medical marijuana this would help stimulate the nations GDP.
”It’s been here, probably in an illegal capacity, for a long time, but now there’s an opportunity for industry,” said Sumaya Abu-Haidar ,mayor of Nederland a town in Colorado where medical marijuana is legal and generally accepted. ”There’s an opportunity for free enterprise, an opportunity for people to make a living in a way that wasn’t available before” (Johnson). While many communities around the nation were still pushing through tough economic times, sales taxes collected in Nederland came in 32 percent higher than the month before that did not include marijuana (Johnson). From growers to sellers at a storefront, and every step in between there are many types of new jobs that would become available directly and indirectly.
If the federal government made medical marijuana legal, the cost of medical marijuana would go down, with more and more farmers being able to grow it there would be more of it so it just goes down to basic rules of supply and demand. This would allow the government to set a higher tax rate, while still maintaining fair prices for consumers. Farmers of medical marijuana could also use the left over stalk to produce hemp and other profitable products.
The marijuana plant is one of the most useful plants known to man today. Practically every piece of the plant can have some purposeful use. Kevin Bonsor’s Book reveals the following “The marijuana plant has many uses. Its stiff, fibrous stalk can be used to make lots of products, from food to ship sails. The stalk is comprised of two parts ,the hurd and the bast. The bast provides fibers that can be woven into many fabrics. These fibers (also called hemp) are woven to create canvas, which has been used to make ship sails for centuries. The hurd provides pulp to make paper, oil to make paints and varnishes, and seed for food. Marijuana plants produce a high-protein, high-carbohydrate seed that is used in granola and cereals”(Bonsor). As Kevin shows, marijuana has multiple beneficial uses that people tend to over look. The flowers of the plant are the only part that are actually used for medical purposes. Marijuana would be a very profitable crop to grow.
In California there is a place called the Emerald Triangle, which consists of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity county. These are three neighboring counties where there is an abundance of legal medical marijuana growers. An article by Mark Bineli in the Rolling Stone magazine about the Emerald Triangle states, “there would be numerous other new revenue streams, beyond just the sale of marijuana itself. The Emerald Triangle could market pot tourism, much as Napa Valley does with its wineries. And naturally, there will also be elaborate new types of vaporizers and pipes and rolling papers to serve the growing market. Britain’s GW Pharmaceuticals, for instance, has been developing an asthma-type inhaler to regulate the exact amount of medical marijuana one might inhale” (Bineli).
The billions of dollars wasted on incarcerating tens of thousands of people for simple possession of marijuana could be spent on healthcare or schools or even other more desirable uses (Bobbiesi). In the present time almost every city has a problem not having enough space in jail for inmates, and many inmates don’t even have a bed and are forced to sleep on the floor. If medical marijuana became legal it would help free up jails across the nations for more serious offences like murderers and rapists.
Many debate that marijuana should not be legalized for medical use because it is addictive. There is no physical evidence that marijuana is even addictive in the smallest way so the government wouldn’t have to waste money on rehab or quitting programs like they do now with cigarettes. Smoking anything is not the best thing on your lungs, but there are plenty of other ways to get the positive effects from marijuana without smoking, such as vaporizing and ingesting. What is the government trying to tell us by legally allowing people to smoke tobacco that is much worse to inhale due to having nicotine in it to make a user addicted to it, along with the hundreds of poisonous ingredients added to cigarettes, such as rat poison? Marijuana is an all natural plant with not a single chemically added ingredient that has actual health benefits unlike tobacco.
People have been smoking marijuana for thousands of years for medical purpose, and they are going to continue to do so. The jails are full of people that are just trying to medicate themselves in a way that works for them better than prescription drugs. As taxpayers we are paying for the thousands of marijuana users to be wrongly imprisoned. The number of individuals who use marijuana for medical purposes are growing as more and more states allow medical marijuana, which means the government is already missing out on the possible proceeds. And these smart states that already have pro medical marijuana laws are making a nice healthy revenue, the federal government is foolishly missing out on free money. When will the federal government accept the truth that marijuana does indeed have a medical purpose, and open up the endless possibilities of a great revenue source?
Courtney from Study Moose
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