Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States


The authorization of Marijuana imposes significant benefits in the US economy as it consents to lawful tax policy and dissemination. At the demand of 5-10 cents in every joint where taxation is absent, the permitted marketplace value of the authorized cannabis might become exceedingly low. In Washington, for instance, one joint of marijuana is as minimum as two dollars the value of alcohol in regards to hallucinogenic potential.

A suggestion form the peripheral costs levied by the marijuana consumers on the general public proposes an appropriate and ferocity duty of approximately one dollar in each joint. Yearly increase estimation on the excise levies would range from 2.3 to 6.5 billion dollars under marijuana legalization. Generally, the ratification of marijuana protects up to 15 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money besides the other economic advantages in derivative businesses and hemp agricultural science. This paper examines several economic effects, the advantages, and disadvantages, as well as the revenues that are associated with the legalization of marijuana.


In the United States, various topics are being debated. However, among the most contentious and debated topics is whether marijuana ought to be legalized or not. Strong advocates for the legalization of cannabis claim that marijuana should be legalized since it has numerous medical benefits. The opponents strongly assert that cannabis should be considered illegal due to its high latent abuse. From the impetus that currently surrounds the topic under discussion, it is evident that various movements have gained momentum on the legalization of cannabis (Stateman, 2009). In California, there are regions where the legalization of marijuana has been endorsed. Several American citizens currently suppose that cannabis needs to be legalized. Others appear to be very skeptical about the adverse effects and health damage caused by marijuana.

The debate on the drug is, however, declining in the present days. The bylaws barring the use of cannabis are going through severe re-evaluation. The guidelines deliberated today vary from withdrawal of the unlawful punishments for secretive usage and farming of marijuana to full authorization of cannabis. In this regard, this could allow marijuana to be sold for profitable purposes akin to other products like tobacco and alcohol.

Legalization has relished remarkable support based on the sequence of American formal boards. In evading the aggressive commercialization, the elementary quest of legalization stands to lessen the confidentiality, reverence to individual’s liberty, and harm of illegitimate sentence. Nonetheless, the fault in legalization is that marijuana authorization has no grant for drug consumers who are not capable of cultivating personal plants (Stateman, 2009).

Economic effects of Marijuana legalization

Several primary enforcement bottlenecks may be circumvented through decriminalization. Accordingly, it will be possible to standardize, tax, and lawfully trade in marijuana. The SCTN (Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics) has illegalized and mandated the contemporary world due to lack of any sample of an utterly legitimized marijuana bazaar. The adjacent estimate is present in Holland and other parts of the US. Formally, they accept the rummage sale and ownership of nearly thirty grams of cannabis in coffee dynasties.

Nonetheless, the manufacture and distribution of hashish are strictly unlawful with the punishment imposed on large scale dealers. The ostensible realization in the control of hard drug misuse devoid of any major marijuana misapplication widespread has encouraged the US to sanction the policies of legalizing bhang. Hence, a significant benefit of decriminalization is to uncover access to the revenue system of marijuana. Legalization is, therefore, a possible and cherished basis of public income whereas reducing the necessity for prohibited marijuana market to the outstanding economy (Bradford, 2012).

The reasons why marijuana needs to be legalized are many. These reasons outweigh the rationale behind its illegalization. For instance, the Olympic swimming champion, Phelps Michael, later appeared in the global news for consuming cannabis. This hurt Phelps reputation and made him lose some cash in approval. These reports rekindled discussions on whether cannabis should be lawfully recognized or not. Most debates conclude that the United States needs to legalize cannabis. Research has proved that the drug is neither hazardous nor very addictive as most opponents alleged. When marijuana is legalized, it might assist in stopping drug trafficking cartels and aid in impeding criminal or gang activities. This implies that the U.S. economy will have an opportunity to save additional funds (Hollister, 1971).

Legalization of marijuana has an impending economic influence as it can impressively reduce the costs while engendering major growth in supply. The rising prospect of marijuana legalization might lead to bulk production, thus plunging returns to the indigenous manufacturers. Several scholars assert that marijuana has gradually occupied the economic space in the United States. This owes to the degeneration in industries that deal in fishing or timber (Bradford, 2012). Legalization of marijuana would reduce the US overreliance on a solitary resource in boosting the economy. This alters the ongoing ancient pattern that has inhibited and put the diversification of the economy and the environs in danger for many years.

Further, marijuana legalization helps the US to assess the yearly gross dollar influence. About the export of the resource, the nation is capable of estimating the amount that marijuana donates to the economy plus the quantity of cash disbursed by the country in production. Marijuana legalization is important as it possesses both long and short term effects on the US economic balance. As placed by certain researchers, more federations in the United States have legalized the use of cannabis for recreation. As a result, legalization has augmented the competition in both small and large scale organizations. The evident rivalry would, in turn, lead to a smaller amount of unrestricted income and reduced prices for economic growth (Bradford, 2012).

The US setting suffers a direct impact economically supposed the dollars for cannabis are washed-out from the nation’s budget. The study by Baradford (2012) reveals that every one dollar used up in the US would be sociable six times beforehand use by the foreign nations. One dollar is at present paid out at the confined retail industries that alternatively make revenue and occupations for the inhabitants.

The dollar will circulate in diverse industries such as gas stations, acting scenes, eating places, grocery stocks, and retail stores. The American economy in fiscal 1960 was on the rise following the immigration of residents from the Area Bay. The famous immigration saw the production of cannabis replace fishing and wood businesses. The hippies and homesteaders preoccupied the economic gap that was left by the immigrants through the production of bhang.

Supposed the US decriminalizes the ingestion of hashish, the effects triggered by an unlawful bunch of criminals and illegitimate drug peddling will be narrowed. For instance, the Mexican Bureaucrats and the United States drug implementation organization raided a dispensation complex used to cultivate cannabis. They found about nine thousand stacks of cannabis that were valued at four billion US dollars. This money was used to sustain businesses run by drug cartels besides financing various criminal activities.

Hence, the American streets will be safe if the rivalry amongst drug dealers and gangs is reduced. This can only be realized if the use of cannabis is endorsed. In a ‘Marijuana Legalization Timeline’ artifact found at ProQuest, it emerged that in fiscal 2008, drug peddlers from Mexico generated a sum of 23.0 billion dollars from the jumble sale of drugs. Such cartels tend to fund and manage street, supplying criminals in all regions within the state (Stateman, 2009). Thus, if it is legalized, people who are encouraged by pushers and criminals to use marijuana may be few.

The level of tetra-hydro-cannabin of cannabis in the present day is 27-30 percent as compared to the year 1960s when it was nearly 2-3 percent. This has fostered the economy given that the indoor cannabis harvests greater rummage sale prices, and many users consider it to have superior value. The US economy experiences a reduction in costs and oversupply owing to the enormous upturn in marijuana invention. Legalization of marijuana would enable the US to gain profits ranging to more than five hundred percent. Taking into account the mitigating factors as well as the sites of production, this profit can be realized if one pound of marijuana costs between 70 and 400 dollars. The US economy has been on the upsurge following the regulation of marijuana prices as experienced in the last ten years (Bradford, 2012).

In the recent past, both outdoor and indoor marijuana production has produced a gross income of approximately 1.2 trillion dollars. This boosts the economy a great deal and leaves cannabis as the most ordinarily consumed United States drug. However, decriminalizing marijuana by dint of passing a proposal is not an answer for the reason that production is not aided by the bylaws. Therefore, the United States employs contemporary federal and state regulations to put into effect the voter-passed proposals for economic growth (Bradford, 2012).

Several American states have brought into being that the federal decrees undermine the state decrees. This hinders the US economic growth since the states that have already approved a certain form of hashish ratification faces federal antagonism. For example, all the dealings that lawfully function under the state laws like dispensaries have been shut down by the federal representatives who work counter to the state laws.

The federal acts render marijuana as a drug falling underclass I and are comparable to heroin and cocaine. It is in any form unlawful to vend, consume, or cultivate by any individual. The federal laws should allow for legalization through plummeting cannabis to fall under the class II drugs to boost the US economy. The legal representatives in some state districts allow for marijuana business but the federal forces convicts and seizures bhang growers and compel them to greater penalties and lengthy prison terms.

The national and local agencies have progressed in the direction of legalizing the growth and business of cannabis. To evade the ecological damage on the timberland and watersheds, the environmental departments are more active in functioning with federal, state, and local law implementing organizations to thwart the extensive destructions for the economy to grow (Bradford, 2012).

It is perhaps very essential to be acquainted with an account of laws that surround marijuana to understand the reasons why the drug ought to be legalized. In the fiscal 1930s, various unenthusiastic misinformation concerning cannabis and its consumption emerged. For instance, in the financial year 1937, a popular movie dubbed ‘Reefer Madness’ depicted the negative effects of marijuana. Reefer Madness showed that innocent teenagers experienced soul-destroying effects from the consumption of violent sedatives (Hollister, 1971).

In 1938, the legislature had to pass the Marijuana Tax Law due to the off-putting info on cannabis. As a national regulation, the Excise Law of Marijuana allowed the national administration to detain any person who consumed hashish, albeit the nation’s legitimization of its usage. This brought about various lawsuits, confusions, as well as unwillingness to research cannabis by the health sector. Thus, if marijuana laws could have been altered, the medical industry might have done many research studies on the drug. Lawsuit cases could have been reduced, and all citizens might have benefited from this.

Whether marijuana validation would diminish the ecological destruction is the big question of argument that remains paramount amongst the US economies. Particular groups cling onto the view that legalization of marijuana would encourage and introduce the black market into the economy while some believe it will reduce environmental degradation.

On the contrary, the economy will plunge since many people will avoid standing for the regulation that safeguards flora and fauna. Legalization of bhang will encourage destructive and dangerous acts in turn. Similarly, personnel from diverse fields gain curiosity and engage in unpermitted and prohibited practices at the expense of dealing with cannabis (Bradford, 2012). In general, sooner or later, when the United States legalizes marijuana, the economy in the proximate future will drastically increase or decrease.

The advantages and disadvantages of legalizing Marijuana

The Marijuana legalization is in one way or the other a practicable means of supporting and enhancing the economy in the United States. Several enormous changes have been experienced in the US economy over the past years owing to the legalization of marijuana for merrymaking purposes in many states. By the economic conservatives and liberals, marijuana legalization has both negative and positive impacts on the economy. The law legalizing bhang, for example, in Washington and Colorado allows a mature person with 21 years of age to own bhang.

This includes nearly six cannabis plants, and one can retain marijuana equal to grain as provided for in the 64th Amendments. Several conservatives have accepted as true that marijuana legalization could upset the US economy (Pinkston & Battle, 2013). Besides, the consumers of marijuana would aimlessly smoke in anyplace, thus negatively tainting the good image of the nation.

Sanctioning the use of cannabis can weaken the drug cartels and well as lessen the organized street crimes. Decimalization is another benefit that comes because of endorsing the use of cannabis. The United States incurs higher costs to prosecute and punish lawbreakers. In California, Gray James, a superior court judge claimed that the state could save up to one billion US dollars if it stopped the imprisonment and persecution of the nonviolent cannabis consumers (Dubner, 2007). A study conducted in 2005 showed that the U.S. could gain about 6.20 billion dollars annually if the country resorted to the taxation of cannabis at similar rates imposed on alcohol and tobacco products. Therefore, the benefits accruing from the legalization of cannabis can help the U.S. to increase its financial strength and evade the harsh economic times.

In some states, marijuana consumption is unlawful. Also, the similar punishments for drunk drivers are imposed on the US drivers who drink as an influence of bhang. The economic conservatives are, therefore, not concerned with the legalization of marijuana as they assert that optimistic outcomes accompany the authorization of cannabis. By the BBC, prohibited drug usage globally is evidently on the increase. The control efforts to thwart the proscribed and escalating universal drug marketplace remain inadequate. To boost the economy, the US oughts to contrivance plans that cater for safety and health as its priority. It is important to consider the usage of marijuana as an unrestricted health matter instead of taking it as a matter of immoral justice (Pinkston & Battle, 2013). The legalization of cannabis paves the way for the resources employed in fighting marijuana to be utilized in motivating healthcare. The fund for fighting marijuana might also help in focusing on drug abuse therapy in case of hard drugs addicts.

According to Pinkston and Battle (2013), the US economy will boom since the bureaucrats will fight hard substances like meth, cocaine, and heroin. The extra funding redirected for the construction of therapy hubs would facilitate the removal of hard drugs away from the street besides helping the consumers to engage in economic development. On the other hand, legalization of marijuana has affirmative consequences on the tax policy of cannabis consumers and manufacturers. The state routinely licenses bhang suppliers and manufactures in the United States. In turn, the money collected from such dealers can be forwarded to support the economies of the state. The subscriptions charged for licensing cannabis in the US is advanced than in whichever industry. The licensing sum is abundant and can be further used to finance the regulation since one marijuana store costs up to 18 thousand dollars. Moreover, the economy is on the positive given that sales income tax is indicted for every single acquisition of cannabis.

About the Denver Post, the sale of bhang can give one state a total levy of more than twenty-five percent (25%). This encompasses ten percent rummage sale levy as well as fifteen percent cut out tax charged on each marijuana transaction. The nation could yield a lot of revenue for this transaction that can be channeled to bring appropriate economic growth. The authorization of cannabis can benefit the United States in clearing its national dues that mount up over time. It remains the fact that individuals would still engage in cannabis consumption, be it legalized or not. This symbolizes the other purpose why bhang ought to be legalized (Pinkston & Battle, 2013). Allowing marijuana business would generate income, whereas illegalizing, it would leave the cartels to enjoy big money poured in by the users at the expense of the government. The legalization of hashish would reduce chances of drug peddlers who secretly grow and trade in cannabis shifting to the other horrific activities.

The Research Center for Substance Abuse has detected several occasion where bhang is incorporated with a laced or foreign chemical. The bhang producers will exclusively cultivate cannabis plant and preserve them in the discernment of the law only if it is legitimized. The purchase of marijuana would augment as legalization reduces the anxiety of customers being affected by foreign chemicals from the imported bhang. Illegalizing cannabis will not make people stop smoking, but rather the taxed income would go to the hands of different cartels instead of the government thus reduced economic growth. The economy enlarges in certain states since debts are trimmed down with the money dished out of the criminals’ hand through legalization (Pinkston & Battle, 2013).

Most individuals, however, have their reasons why they believe marijuana should not be legalized. According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuses) director, Volkow Nora, marijuana produces adverse behavioral, emotional, mental, and physical changes when consumed. For example, when teenagers increase the level of marijuana consumption, their development can be negatively affected. The drug is harmful to the lungs and can cause short-term judgment, verbal skills, and memory impairments (Dubner, 2007). Nevertheless, research studies conducted on the health effects caused by cannabis is open to doubts. Most studies have proved that in case the use of cannabis has negative outcomes; they could be mild.

Conversely, the benefits acquired from cannabis are impermanent at best, making it disadvantageous to human life and the entire economy. The colonizers from England and Spain cultivated and transported marijuana for nutritional stuff though the usage is rather tainted in America. Several people smoked cannabis to get rid of life issues and stresses before the detection of its probable health advantages. The controversial drug is being allowed by several American states for not only medicinal value but rather economical values. The Medical Marijuana Organization stipulates that more than twenty states have embraced the consumption of therapeutic cannabis. In the case of Washington and Colorado, limitations proscribe the community to merely handle a particle of cannabis besides placing the age bounds for use and acquisition of the drug. Cannabis can, therefore, be an alternative to strong and hard drugs like phencyclidine, meth, heroin, and cocaine (Pinkston & Battle, 2013).

Moreover, similar sets of laws imposed on alcohol and tobacco consumption can proscribe the consumption of marijuana by minors. Most anti-marijuana activists object its consumption by asserting that the drug is addictive. Research studies conducted by medical experts reveal that cannabis is just mildly addictive. There are two standard reports from California University and Addiction Research Center that compared the level of addiction of marijuana, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and heroin (Stateman, 2009). From these research reports, it emerged that bhang was addictive to a smaller extent as compared to nicotine that was highly addictive when all drugs were studied. The legalization of marijuana is only criticized because the drug acts as an opening to the consumption of other dangerous drugs.

Marijuana should be examined in terms of efficiency, side effects, and safety before its approval as a life-giving substance. The different opium plants contain more than four hundred compounds in its chemical composition. The economic liberals are on the verge that cannabis should not be legalized. They assert that the health advantages accruing from the use of bhang are short-lived. It is harmful due to the addiction obstacles it imposes on individual’s life hence reduced economic development (Messerili, 2007).

The US states have however found an alternative positive way of utilizing marijuana. The researchers stipulate that lawful cannabis helps the United States indigenous economies in financing the federations. This is palpable owing to the extraordinary income tax engaged in the business of marijuana invention. Indeed, this is stylish, and it encourages the American administration to reinforce the economy by changing the mortgage rates around.

On the contrary, cannabis is addictive, just like cigars and alcohol. It is, therefore, a hard drug that has long-standing impacts on the lives of those who abuse its use. As stated by the Addiction and Recovery Organization, bhang inhalers suffer from multiple odds of developing psychotic signs and are four times expected to grow symptoms of misery. As a result, the drug affects the lives of citizens who will tend to concentrate on their well-being rather than economic growth (Pinkston & Battle, 2013). Additionally, marijuana is as substantial as cocaine if utilized in considering the pain treatment for a person with cancer. In preference to forcing the US citizens to consume cannabis due to legalization, the gains might enlarge the US flea market. In the main, it is vital for the congress and the state administrations to reconsider nondestructive, specific, and profitable ways of directing marijuana legalization to the US economic development.

The legalization revenues

Marijuana intake inflates auxiliary in an authorized marketplace in which joints are easily and economically accessible. The growth of mild potions from marijuana is one of the aspects that will possibly magnify the mandate for lawful hashish in the imminent days. Consequently, it is equitable to legalize marijuana and estimate the ultimate intake to nearly thirty million joints in a day.

Restricting the farming of marijuana for individual consumption is perhaps despairing. Bhang legalization enables the hefty cannabis consumers to be enticed by the home growers who provide for a larger portion of usage. This provides the home growers with high income since a three-joint of two-dollars in a day would amount to two thousand dollars by the year. The economy will get a boost since the home gardeners will engross the extensive share of multiple day-to-day usages that caters for almost sixty percent of the entire marketplace. An estimation by twofold price circumstances helps in valuing the size of the marketable marijuana market in the US economy (Gieringer, 1994).

In an assumption, the home gardeners fascinate twenty percent of the ingestion given half a dollars cut out tax plus least expense of a dollar in every joint. This leaves the market demand ranging from 12 to 24 million joints per diem, thus yearly tax revenue of around 2.3-4.5 billion dollars. Equally, the commercial consumption is cut in a range of 10-18 million joints (40%) given one dollar cut out tax plus any price not less than two dollars in each joint. This produces nearly 3.3-6.4 billion dollars in tax revenue every economic year (Gieringer, 1994). The excise tax revenue (2.3-6.5 billion dollars) collected on marijuana consumption in every year is analogous to the existing centralized tax revenue collected on tobacco and alcohol (5 and 8 billion dollars) respectively. It would be an enhancement to the US economy in that the government could enforce sales taxes along with excise taxes on marijuana. Decriminalization of bhang would generate several revenue-generating related industries that in turn, generate more than 100,000 businesses from 60,000 stores.

In his study, Gieringer (1994) asserted that legalization authorizes husbandry of important crops like hemp, resourceful roughages, protein, biomass, and fat. In each year, the invention of hemp will compete with the farming of the most important products like soybeans and fiber that presently fall in the profit of almost 5 to 10 billion dollars. Moreover, legalization would sidetrack the economic demands as of the supplementary drugs thus result in further investments. The US government is obliged to save approximately 10 billion dollars suppose legalization is set to abridge the contemporary narcotics implementation expenses form 35% to 25%.

Thus, the overall direct reserves to the US administration in implementation and excises would range from 8 to16 billion dollars every year. The approximate values of consumption, according to prohibitionists and legalizers, are, to some degree, inferior compared to the public dissertation. In general, the values seem inflated, but the advantages of legalization to the US economy are undeniable, substantial, and merits to be accepted.


Cannabis has some pessimistic impacts on the United States economy. The medicinal benefits contribute to the justifications as to why the drug ought to be legalized. The information on legalizing marijuana indicates that no reported death cases are resulting from cannabis consumption. When compared to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is less harmful to individuals’ physical condition. The drug can substitute about 10 to 20% of the medical prescriptions currently used. Since marijuana has numerous economic benefits that are unenforced, the U.S. administration has no grounds to avoid sanctioning cannabis consumption. Thus, various grounds are justifying why cannabis ought to be legalized as opposed to the weak reasons explaining why the US needs to ban it.


Bradford, H. (2012). 14 ways marijuana legalization could boost the economy. Web.

Dubner, S. (2007). On the legalization – or not – of marijuana. Web.

Gieringer, D. (1994). Economics of cannabis legalization: Hemp Today. Web.

Hollister, L. (1971). Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol, and dextroamphetamine. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 12(1), pp.44-49.

Messerili, J. (2007). Should marijuana be legalized under any circumstances? Balanced Politics. Web.

Pinkston, Z, & Battle D. (2013). Marijuana legalization pros/cons. Web.

Stateman, A. (2009). Can marijuana help rescue California’s economy? Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


LawBirdie. (2023, March 22). Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States. Retrieved from


LawBirdie. (2023, March 22). Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States.

Work Cited

"Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States." LawBirdie, 22 Mar. 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States'. 22 March.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States." March 22, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States." March 22, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Cannabis Legalization Effects in the United States." March 22, 2023.