For many marijuana enthusiasts, the past decade has brought about a lot of big changes. We’ve seen a large flux of public support for legalization, including several completely legal marijuana states (although within certain quantities). Why are states just now starting to seemingly “wise up” to the benefits of legalization, when legal marijuana states have seen a flux in jobs, tax revenue, and a decrease of drug related crime? Support for legalization has raised significantly over the past two years, which isn’t a surprise considering it is a relatively safe alternative that can be used to treat many medical conditions and many users find it has fewer negative side effects compared to alcohol or tobacco.
In 2012 Colorado and Washington became the first legal marijuana states. Soon after, they both experienced an economical flux due to all the jobs that were created from both cultivation and sales. It’s simple really, you see, with pot being legal, it can be regulated and sales will be recorded, meaning that the government will get its share in taxes.
Legal marijuana states have opened up opportunities for its citizens to earn revenue as growers, sounds simple enough, right? Not exactly. Whether you choose to grow indoors or outdoors there are many considerations, beyond the inevitable fifteen hundred dollar start up cost, to take into account. Having good quality equipment, especially if you grow indoors, is a must.You’ll need good ventilation, purified water, and plenty of available power. LED grow lights are a popular choice among many growers, and powering a large number of these can get costly.
Growing outside? You’ll have to consider soil quality, amount of sunlight, and keeping your buds safe from pests. Even with all the startup costs, combined with careful care and the proper information, growing marijuana is proven to be quite lucrative. In legal marijuana states, growers are able to make enough after only a matter of months to make up for start up costs. But people who would ordinarily be unable to find jobs due to disabilities, or those looking to supplement their income have found growing weed to be a viable option.
In addition to growth in economic prosperity, legal marijuana states may, in fact, be safer. Though hard pressed to define it as a direct correlation, studies have shown that pot legalization could possibly be responsible for a reduction in violent crime. This isn’t just in the case of theft or breaking and entering which would be more predictable, but in the event of assault, rape, and homicide. Maybe it’s because their citizens are just happier? It’s more likely to do with the fact that law enforcement can pay more attention to apprehending dangerous criminals rather than harmless people who happen to be carrying a bit of pot.
Another favorable outcome of legal marijuana states with regulation is that it inevitably makes for a safer product. Local and state governments can set guidelines for the conditions in which the marijuana is produced and the quality and quantity in which it is sold. This reduces the likelihood of tampering, which is much higher in “black market” goods. Legal marijuana states are better able to ensure that people are getting a safer product from reliable sources.
The most generally understood benefit of marijuana is it’s ability to treat patients with dozens of diseases and health conditions including HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, Parkinson’s, MS, Epilepsy, Crohn's, and PTSD. In more than 29 legal marijuana states, including D.C., people who would otherwise be taking expensive pharmaceuticals, that can cause harmful side effects, are finding marijuana to be a safer alternative. In controlled doses marijuana goes a long way to help ease pain, calm anxiety, and reduce the frequency of seizures.
Today, the majority of American voters are ready to make marijuana legal on a national level. More than 65% believe that marijuana will be legal nationwide in less than ten years. For now, use is best limited to legal states, where users can reap the many benefits marijuana has to offer.