Ten Reasons Why Weed Should Be Legal

Ten Reasons Why Weed Should Be Legal

Published on 7/2/22

Legal cannabis has come a long way over the past two decades or so. Long gone are the days when the only weed you could get your hands on was a sad collection of seeds and stems stuffed into a little baggy and sold to you by some sketchy high school dropout dealing on the illegal market. Today, legal weed is a thriving, ever-growing industry that's poised to be a $70.6 billion industry by 2028. The only thing holding the industry back from exploding even more than it already has is the continued and outdated Schedule 1 classification at the federal level. It likely won't be that way for long, however.

Legislation from both the Democrats and Republicans has been introduced that would effectively legalize cannabis federally, ushering in the age of legal weed here in the U.S. for everyone everywhere instead of the patchwork state-by-state approach we take now. So what's the hold-up? Well, frankly, we're not exactly sure either. 

That's why we wanted to put together this handy list breaking down and answering the question of why should weed be legal in the meantime. After all, if you're going to write to your elected officials and ask them to vote in favor of a federal cannabis legalization bill, it's best that you do so with stats and facts at your disposal first. That's where we here at Where's Weed come in, assembling a handy-dandy list that breaks down the many benefits of legalizing weed. We will be looking at the stats, studies, and science of why marijuana should be legal and adding some "why marijuana should be legal facts" to your repertoire the next time you're arguing with someone who opposes legal weed. 

So without further delay, let's get right into our list of ten reasons why legal weed is a great idea everywhere in the United States!

1. Americans Widely Approve of Legal Weed 


Here in America, we live in a Democracy. It's arguably one of the best things about us as a nation. We get to debate ideas and concepts in the marketplace of ideas before actually getting to put those ideas into practice on Election Day. That same concept is how we've gotten to the current count of 19 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories approving recreational cannabis use for residents, 13 of which have also fully or partially decriminalized cannabis, and 37 states, four out of five permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia all establishing medical use programs of some kind. 

Many of these legal weed states came about thanks to individual state-level ballot measures, which means they got support from the voters in that state on Election Day. When you dig deeper into the numbers regarding approval for legal cannabis, however, it's baffling why the whole nation hasn't gotten a say on federal illegality yet. 

According to Gallup, support for legal cannabis has grown (pun intended) like a weed over the past few decades, reaching a record high in 2021. It's also a bi-partisan issue, with 86 percent Democratic voter support, 71 percent Independent voter approval, and about half of Republicans on board. Another 2021 poll from The Pew Research Center shows that 91 percent of American adults think that some type of legal cannabis should exist here in the U.S. 

Simply put, cannabis is popular here in the U.S. If it ever did appear on the ballot for a nationwide election, it's clear which direction the vote would go. It makes you wonder why it hasn't happened yet, right?

2. Legal Weed Creates Jobs

This might surprise some readers, but legal cannabis is a massive job creator here in the U.S., showing no signs of slowing down. According to recent studies, an estimated 321,000 American workers already have found jobs in the world of legal cannabis. For some perspective, that's an astounding 32 percent increase from the previous year, making the legal cannabis industry one of the nation's fastest-growing sectors. Those numbers next year will likely be swelled ever more considering the ever-growing trend of Great Resignation workers migrating to the legal weed industry over the past few months. For even more recent evidence, a recently published study found that nearly one in ten new Missouri jobs came from their medical cannabis industry in 2021. 

As more and more states in the U.S. propose legislation or ballot measures to legalize some form of cannabis within their borders, that growth rate and the overall number of jobs will only increase. Once cannabis is finally approved and legalized federally, the industry is going to explode every more. The boost it would give the economy alone is enough to answer the question of why should marijuana be legalized.

3. Legal Weed Generates Billions in Taxes


Politicians from both sides of the aisle constantly bicker and complain about costs associated with proposed bills, reforms, changes, or social/economic programs here in the United States. Lawmakers looking to end those complaints should throw their support behind legal cannabis because the math shows that legal cannabis generates billions in tax dollars that would fund pretty much any proposed programs.

Earlier this year, research from the Marijuana Policy Project found that legal cannabis states have raked in an astounding $10 billion in taxes from adult-use legal cannabis sales since 2014. According to the report, those tax dollars generated for the states could then be used to fund public and social programs, fund drug-related criminal justice reforms, and balance state budgets that were wrecked during the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that analysis, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. States have already reported making more than $3 billion in 2021 alone, and that's without every state reporting their numbers yet. Even more impressively, experts are estimating tax revenue from cannabis sales to swell to around $12 billion by 2030. Simply put, the legal cannabis industry is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. States would be smart to legalize soon and take advantage of those profits ASAP!  

4. Legal Weed Has Proven Medical Benefits 

If you at all respect science, it's pretty much impossible to argue that cannabis doesn't have obvious medical uses. There are many studies that have shown the positive medicinal effects cannabis can have.

Here's a quick list of ailments that medical cannabis has proven studies to show its role in treating effectively:

5. Legal Weed Decreases Alcohol Use


According to data from the CDC, more than 6 percent of adults in the U.S. have an alcohol use disorder, about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 25 women. An additional 623,000 people between the age of 12 and 17 have alcohol use disorders. About 88,000 people die of alcohol-related causes every year in the United States. And, perhaps the most shocking stat of the bunch, only 7 percent of those with drinking problems end up seeking treatment. Simply put, Americans have a troubled relationship with alcohol.

While there are many reasons why those stats exist when it comes to alcohol, there's one thing for certain; States that legalize cannabis see dips in the number of people drinking.

According to a recent report from NORML, Colorado researchers found that those who used cannabis were far less likely to drink. Across the sample size for the study, researchers saw a 29 percent dip in drinks consumed, and study participants were up to two times less likely to binge drink on days they consumed cannabis. 

These stats aline with other research on younger generations, like the Millenials and Zoomers, who vastly prefer cannabis over booze. Who knows, in a few years after cannabis is federally legalized, we might see cannabis product commercials on TV to replace the beer commercials during sports games.

6. Legal Weed Means An End to the War on Drugs

Remember before when we talked about politicians constantly arguing over tax dollars being spent the wrong ways? They should know that legalizing cannabis and ending the failed and outdated War on Drugs would be a great way for the nation to save money. 

According to Drug Policy Alliance data released in 2015, the U.S. spends an estimated $51 billion on anti-drug initiatives annually. That means that since the War on Drugs started, the U.S. has wasted more than a trillion dollars fighting a losing battle that they had no possibility of winning in the first place.

As we mentioned before, cannabis is as popular and widely used as it's ever been. The federal government is better off stopping the funding for the War on Drugs and using that money for infrastructure, social programs, or anything else that actually helps the American people. Legal cannabis is clearly the future, so why bother jailing and fighting against it anymore?

7. Legal Weed Means Criminal Justice Reform  


Cannabis has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug, putting it on par with substances like heroin and LSD in the eyes of the federal government since 1970. As a result of that outdated classification, law enforcement has spent decades emprisoning people of color disproportionally for minor drug offenses. From 2001 to 2010 alone, 7 million people got into legal trouble for using, possessing, or growing cannabis. It's insane that those same people imprisoned for growing, possessing, or selling cannabis will emerge decades later into a legal cannabis state that does that same thing legally, for-profit, without consequences.

The ACLU estimates that states who have yet to legalize cannabis waste approximately $3,613,969,972 on enforcing outdated drug laws. Once cannabis is legalized federally, that money can be reinvested into the communities that those policies have historically oppressed instead

8. Legal Weed Would Destroy the Black Market Drug Trade

Despite years of the War on Drugs in America and trillions of dollars spent, the black market drug trade for cannabis here in the U.S. is still thriving. In 2016 alone, black market cannabis sales accounted for $46.4 billion. That number has surely increased today. Unfortunately, this is just the natural result of prohibition. As we mentioned before, cannabis is as popular as it's ever been and the U.S. has never seen a prohibition actually work. In fact, research shows that prolonged prohibitions are key components to breeding organized crime. Simply put, prohibitions don't work and only succeed in creating black market trades for those same substances. It happened with alcohol in the early 1900s and is happening with cannabis today. 

Science says that the best way to stop crime and grow a thriving legal market is to legalize, plain and simple. The best way to get rid of the street-level drug dealers and organized crime is to legalize cannabis federally, regulate the industry, and lower prices so people can afford their cannabis.

9. Legal Weed Means Better Quality Cannabis


Legalizing cannabis federally would open the door to federal standards for production, storage, sales, prices, and even standard business practices. With the patchwork state-by-state approach to cannabis legalization that we're on now, every state has different cannabis laws, rules, and regulations that can be confusing and get people in unnecessary trouble. Most importantly, however, federal legalization would likely mean establishing a brand new federal organization solely dedicated to regulating the growing process and standards around the cannabis industry. Think the FDA or a state-level Liquor Control Board for weed. 

Many states do this already, so it would be a step in the right direction for the overall quality of the cannabis available to consumers. After all, a regulatory body would prevent issues like the ones we're seeing in the CBD industry from becoming nationwide issues. And that's a good thing for cannabis brands and consumers alike! 

10. Legal Weed Means More Fun! 

Now, hear us out on this one before totally dismissing it. While it might not sound real, cannabis users have better workouts, mental health, have better sex, and are generally more satisfied and successful in life. While cannabis users already know all that, we're all about spreading the love here at Where's Weed! Federal legalization would mean more people get to open their worlds up to the joys, health benefits, and lifestyle associated with cannabis, and we're all about that!

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