LETTER: Federal legalization of marijuana makes sense

LETTER: Federal legalization of marijuana makes sense

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A New Year is upon us. We conclude a decade and enter into a 2020 with recreational marijuana in our state.

Your political interest or who you voted for in the previous gubernatorial election is beyond me. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Legal marijuana affects us all, or should I say, benefits us all.

Whether you have an interest in one day engaging in legal marijuana activities or not, legalized, recreational marijuana would introduce more jobs and less government costs. I believe that legalized marijuana would benefit the economy, helping our communities thrive ahead.

"But, but Marijuana is a gateway drug! Meaning that it's a habit-forming drug and will lead to the use of heavily addictive drugs!"

I strictly support the legalization of marijuana based on what exactly it could do for today's current economy. But, it is a fact, proven by drugabuse.gov that the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other "harder substances."

Legal marijuana's tax revenue will generate billions. The Tax Foundation, a group of prominent, successful businessmen organized to research and educate on U.S Tax Studies, supports the federal legalization of marijuana and claim that a legal, mature marijuana industry could generate up to $28 Billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments. Their studies also show that the federal tax on weed would be similar to its federal tax on tobacco.

Tax revenue has already generated millions in certain states. Colorado was the first state to legalize recreation and medical marijuana in the USA. Within the first month of legalization, Colorado collected $32.5 million from recreational marijuana alone. Three years later, Colorado had collected more than $135 million in 2015 from taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana. After legalizing, the state of Washington now has a sale average of $2 million a day, with revenue reaching up to $270 million a year.

Expect more and new jobs. RCG Economics, a Las Vegas expert driven economic research company, says that legal recreational marijuana would bring over 41,000 new jobs into Nevada alone till 2024. Imagine federal marijuana, which would create 782,000 jobs immediately.

Another study report from New Frontier suggests that the impact of federally legal marijuana could generate 1.1 million jobs by 2025. These are all well-paying jobs of farming, processing, distributing and selling the products. To throw this out there, this industry would benefit families and could even prevent children from facing hunger day-to-day by supplying parents enough on their wages.

Preventing individuals from receiving trial for attempting to sell marijuana-based-products is a big factor. Less court cases and arrests equal less taxpayer money spent. Legal marijuana would grow employment. Less money given out for welfare. As in Colorado, two years after the legalizing, employment growth rose by 5.4%.

Trusting what our state government does with this revenue is another story. Legalized marijuana is our future.

Haiden Charles, Mattoon


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