Marijuana prohibition doesn't work! You would think our government would have learned this lesson after the prohibition of alcohol ended in 1933. During prohibition, liquor had been easily available, organized crime flourished, and the economy desperately missed the tax revenue of legal alcohol.
With the US in the middle of the Great Depression, the government repealed the 18th amendment (which banned the sale and consumption of alcohol) and switched their attention to demonizing marijuana.
Since the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, the US government has used marijuana to criminalized minorities, stigmatize colored people and cannabis lovers all while ignoring the plant's medicinal, recreational, and industrial benefits. Because of the "War on Drugs", cannabis is categorized as a Schedule 1 drug and we haven't been able to fully research all its medicinal benefits. Instead people have been relegated to the black market where they don't really know what they're buying, where the plants are grown or under what conditions.
For all the money spent and lives ruined on prohibition, it hasn't worked! Marijuana has become so mainstream its part of American culture in many areas of the country all while being illegal.
For example, nearly 95% of the 750,000 Illinois cannabis users currently purchase from the illegal market. The result is an overly criminalized plant, an unjustly incarcerated public and proven unpopular policy. According to an April 2018 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University showed 63% of Americans support legalizing marijuana in the US and 54% of Americans believe legalizing marijuana is a good way to increase revenue.
Legalization and regulations can create a safer product which will be free from contaminants such as pesticides and mold. Safety packaging and labels will inform the consumer to the strain and potency of the product. Hemp manufacturing will have a huge impact on building materials and construction costs.
Legalization will also push out the criminal elements and regulate the market help those who produce, process, and sell cannabis. As the industry grow it has the potential to create literally thousands of jobs all over the country!
With states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada earning tremendous revenue from marijuana sale tax, and now Canada going completely legal for adult use, I'm hopeful that the US federal government sees what a great opportunity the cannabis industry is for our economy.
There are so many benefits to marijuana both recreationally, medically and economically I want to use my voice and platforms to help destigmatize the plant, inform the public, and normalize the industry at large.