OPINION: Legalizing Marijuana For Adults Will Boost Economy

Nicholas Tallabas, OwlFeed Journalist

In those classic stoner movies, we’ve seen how marijuana can make someone eat a whole pizza by themselves or be stuck on the couch all day. But marijuana gets a bad rap through these portrayals. Not many people, not even the most informed, realize that marijuana is not only helpful to the body but also to the economy.  

Marijuana serves many purposes and should be legalized for recreational use for adults. Recreational marijuana is a growing industry that has greatly boosted the economy of the 11 states that have already made it legal. 

States that have recreational marijuana have collected millions from taxes off of the marijuana industry. According to Investopedia.com, Colorado collected $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana in 2015. 

Investopedia.com also said that the industry is growing annually and at a high rate. Recreational marijuana also provides plenty of jobs. They estimated that the industry can support over 41,000 jobs until 2021.

Before marijuana was made legal for recreational use in some states, it was used exclusively for medical purposes. It’s legal to purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes in 33 states, including Arizona. Medical marijuana can help manage nausea, vomiting and a lack of appetite. It mostly acts as a pain reliever. A lot of people prefer medical marijuana because it isn’t as harsh as prescription drugs. 

Even though marijuana can be addictive, most people believe that, since it’s from the earth and is a herb, it isn’t as harmful as drugs that are made from chemicals. As recent as 2018, Procon.org estimated that, out of the 29 states that have legalized medical marijuana, there are 2,132,777 medical marijuana users.

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Although marijuana is widely accepted across the United States, many still believe that it should be illegal or strictly for medical use. They say that since marijuana is a schedule 1 drug that is highly addictive and is a hallucinogen that impairs your judgment and motor skills that it shouldn’t be recreational.

Alcohol is also distributed for recreational use. According to tallbotcampus.com, 15 million people abuse alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that also impairs motor skills and most would say it’s worse than marijuana. It is the cause of millions of accidental deaths each year. 

Unlike alcohol, recreational marijuana can also help those who are too afraid to seek help or don’t know how to. If marijuana was made legal, they wouldn’t have to rely on harsh drugs and alcohol to medicate. Even if they do get help, they will probably get prescribed harsh drugs that just put them in a zoned-out state.

With the time for voting approaching and harsh decisions coming, voters have to take into consideration all the benefits of marijuana. As someone trying to make a tough decision, you have to look at the hard facts. 

Arizona voters have to look at all of them and make the right decision not just for the people who use it but also for the schools and other government projects that can benefit from the money it brings in.