Last spring, two hundred lucky high school graduates in Pueblo County Colorado were awarded 420K in scholarship money from the state’s legal cannabis industry. This money will be used to better their lives by obtaining a college education. Wait, I thought that cannabis was supposed to destroy the community. That’s what Kevin Sabet, the co-founder of the aptly named “Smart” Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is telling people. His latest thing is telling people that cannabis is the “new Big Tobacco”. When I asked him how many people have died from using cannabis, he blocked me on Twitter, which tells you how full of it he is. Nice false equivalency, Kevin.
Cannabis has Given Far More to the Community than Prohibition
Cannabis has given back to the community far more than cannabis prohibition ever has. Most of the taxes from cannabis sales in Colorado go towards improving local schools, which we all know are in dire straits in the US. More than 60% of Washington state’s cannabis tax revenue goes towards mental health services for the state, another social service which is woefully lacking.
Alaska’s cannabis tax revenue is going toward substance abuse programs. If you want to go beyond sales taxes, we can also look at how cannabis has helped people quit using dangerous and addictive prescription pills, or how less people are drinking alcohol, a substance that is without question one of the most dangerous drugs in the world (and I say this as a person who loves drinking). While we’re on the subject of booze, I should mention that deaths from traffic fatalities are lower in legal states.
Prohibition Tears Communities Apart
What has prohibition ever done for your local community? We know that the Drug War unilaterally targeted minority and poor communities and has led to the largest prison population in the world. Many have had their lives ruined because they were caught with cannabis. These people have lost their jobs and their freedom, despite doing nothing morally wrong. In contrast, the bankers who caused the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression continue to influence the people who run this country.
Let’s Use that Money for Good
In many US states where cannabis prohibition is still an unfortunate reality, social programs like education are in big trouble. The ACLU estimates that cannabis arrests cost states 3.6 billion. Imagine all the things that we could spend those billions of dollars on. Maybe for once the US could be number one in something that matters like education, or life satisfaction.
The United States has the lagest incarceration rate in the world. The US consists of four percent of the world’s population. Currently, they hold 22 percent of the world’s prison population. Things were getting better there for a minute, when the Obama administration pledged to stop doing business with private prisons. Now that Trump is in power and is firmly in bed with the private prison industry, expect things to get bad.
Featured Image Source: Quartz
How has cannabis given back to your community? Share with us in the comment section below!
Marijuana is more than an herb, it’s a lifestyle, and Sarah is your professional hostess. Our resident “stonette” writes commentaries on the latest news, shares relevant news for marijuana lovers, and generally writes about stuff she knows other cannabis enthusiasts will enjoy. With all the... [read more]