It's easy to see the economic possibilities for a legal marijuana industry, but tax revenue and profit are not the only legitimate reasons to legalize marijuana, and Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, helped make that clear at an economic conference this week. Opponents of marijuana reform often site children's safety as the number one concern of legalizing, but that's just the problem. Trudeau sites that young people in Canada have easier access to marijuana than almost any country in the world, and this is before being legalized. The point of legalizing marijuana is to regulate the drug like alcohol and make it so that only adults of age or qualifying medical conditions will have access. The other problem with prohibition lies in the black market. Despite being illegal, marijuana sales are still flourishing and the money is instead going to gangs and cartels who are profiting off of young people without any age verification.
[Y]oung people have easier access to cannabis now, in Canada, than they do in just about any other countries in the world. [Of] 29 different countries studied by the U.N., Canada was number one in terms of underage access to marijuana.
The other piece of it is there are billions upon billions of dollars flowing into the pockets of organized crime, street gangs and gun-runners, because of the illicit marijuana trade, and if we can get that out of the criminal elements and into a more regulated fashion we will reduce the amount of criminal activity that’s profiting from those, and that has offshoots into so many other criminal activities.