Cannabis is currently legalized for medical and recreational use in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Outside of those states, possession and use of cannabis is still considered a felony since pot is considered a Schedule I drug, right alongside heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
If that seems a bit off to you, you’re not alone. There are numerous scientists, lawmakers, doctors, and members of the general public that believe that marijuana should be legalized throughout the country. Other countries like Canada and the Netherlands have legalized recreational and medical marijuana use countrywide.
Not convinced on why cannabis should be legal? Keep reading for 3 compelling facts about cannabis that will change your mind.
1. Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol and Tobacco
Both tobacco and alcohol have regulatory laws (age use, taxes, use while operating vehicles, etc) but are known to be legal substances in the United States while cannabis remains a federally listed schedule I drug.
But did you know that marijuana is significantly safer than both alcohol and tobacco? One study showed that cannabis is 114 times safer than alcohol is.
Alcohol and tobacco use can lead to long-term health problems, overdose deaths, increased risk of violent crimes, and serious injuries. Marijuana use doesn’t contribute to any of those things.
There has never been an overdose or a fatal overdose due to marijuana use, but around 1,600 deaths occur annually because of alcohol overdose. Both alcohol and tobacco use have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and long-term health problems while marijuana has never been linked to any of those things.
So why would tobacco and alcohol be legal when a far less dangerous drug (cannabis) remains a schedule I drug?
2. Medicinal Properties
Marijuana has a long list of medical benefits thanks to the high concentration of molecules called “cannabinoids”.
THC has been linked to helping with depression, killing cancer cells, and treating insomnia. CBD can treat seizure disorders, anxiety, inflammatory diseases, and more. CBDA has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Those are just three of the hundreds of cannabinoids in marijuana that have key medical benefits for Americans.
3. It Would Boost Both State and Federal Revenue
Currently, states without legalized cannabis have cannabis sales and economies, but they’re illegal and under the table.
Imagine if marijuana was legalized and, thus, regulated by the government. Both state and federal governments would be able to tax these products (both medical and recreational products) and incorporate the revenue into the economy. Michigan, for example, estimates that they’ll earn about $738 million extra in tax revenue from legalized cannabis.
Legalized cannabis could create millions of new jobs across the country as well. Even now without federal legalization, the marijuana industry is the fasted growing job market in the country. Imagine what would happen with legalization.
The Reasons Why Cannabis Should Be Legal Don’t End There
While the legalization of pot used to be a radical idea, the majority of people now believe it should be legalized. And these are just three reasons why cannabis should be legal. The list goes on and on.
Want to learn more about the marijuana industry? Read our article here on marijuana and investing.