Voters across the United States seem to understand just what might make America great again. In a Harvard-Harris Poll released on Monday, they believe that legalizing weed might just be what the country needs to improve society. There is no doubting that legalization would help the economy grow, and it certainly could help to lower the overwhelming national debt.
According to the poll, the majority of voters, 57 percent of them to be exact, think that legalizing weed nationwide would better society, and 69 percent of them would be completely unconcerned if pot were legal in their state of residence. In more than half the country, medical marijuana is already legal, and in eight states, adults 21-years or older can already use it legally for recreational purposes.
At least 86 percent of American citizens agree that cannabis should be legal in some capacity or other. For medical patients, 37 percent say it should be legal, while 49 percent believe it should be legal both medicinally and recreationally. Meanwhile, a mere 14 percent of the population is in favor of it remaining an illegal substance.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has put the blame for the ever-increasing crime levels squarely on drugs, including cannabis. Most people, at least 60 percent of them, agree that crime is steadily rising. However, only 40 percent say that drugs are the cause of it, followed closely by 33 percent blaming the lack of economic opportunity and jobs, and 32 percent pointing the finger at declining moral values.
Despite these statistics, most do not consider marijuana among the drugs wreaking chaos across the country. According to a statement made by Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard-Harris Poll, “Most think legalization of marijuana would probably be helpful in reducing crime rates, and almost half support legalizing weed.”
Should marijuana remain an illegal substance, a whopping 72 percent do not think people should face prosecution or prison time for carrying small amounts of it. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., shares these sentiments. He introduced a bill recently that would not only remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act but would also help those incarcerated for it.
The bill, called the Marijuana Justice Act, would allow offenders to appeal their sentences for either possession or use of cannabis. It would permit them to request reduced penalties or have their cases thrown out of court. Former convicts would also have the opportunity to expunge their criminal records of any marijuana-related offenses.
When Booker announced the bill on Facebook Live, he said, “These are charges that follow people for the rest of their lives, making it difficult for them to do things that we take for granted, like applying for a taxi cab license, something you cannot get in many states, even if your marijuana conviction was 10, 20, 30 years ago. Or people cannot vote in certain states because of their federal marijuana charge.”
As well as making cannabis legal at the federal level, the bill seeks to incentivize impoverished communities, particularly those most affected by the war on drugs and those disproportionately targeted for pot-related crimes. They will not be the only ones to benefit, however. In fact, voters are correct in saying that legalizing weed would make America great again. Here are few ways it could:
Legalizing weed will create jobs for thousands of currently unemployed and desperate people. It is doing a very good job of it already in legal states, such as California and Colorado. If legalized nationally, the industry would grow exponentially and employ much, much more.
Allowing the marijuana industry to flourish would generate billions in annual tax revenues for the government. It could use these monies to reduce the national debt and finance programs to grow the economy. States already collecting pot taxes are enjoying the benefits of swelling fiscal coffers.
If the government decided that legalizing weed is the right thing to do, it would immediately reduce incarceration rates and costs associated with the upkeep of convicts. Law enforcement agencies could focus on combating real crime instead, and it would prevent so much wasteful spending.
The industry will require all sorts of artisans and people with varying skills. It would grow the economy in every aspect, as it will need cultivators, laboratory testers, soil merchants, lighting specialists, trimmers, salespeople, consultants, and everything between, all of whom would have money to spend.
Marijuana in Santa Monica
Medical patients in Santa Monica already have legal access to their medicine. They can order online marijuana in Santa Monica. Luckily, they live in California, a state that allows it. By January 1, 2018, recreational users will be able to get it legally too. In fact, you can order marijuana delivery legally, safely, and discreetly anywhere in the state, even if you still need a doctor’s recommendation letter until next year, when recreational sales come into full effect.