Marijuana enthusiasts have reason to be a little optimistic this week. According to multiple reports, including this one from The Washington Post, “Over the past week, Trump promised not to go after marijuana suppliers and users who are obeying their state laws, former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced his formerly icy views toward the drug have thawed, and top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell pushed harder for legalizing the farming of hemp, pot’s non-psychoactive relative.” I think “whoa” would be the perfect response here, don’t you? Insert any stoner’s look of amazement.
The topic of marijuana legalization is no surprise, in fact, the push to make the green clean has been pushing pot stocks momentum for the last year or two. The surprise here is the sudden change of heart.
It was only back in January that Attorney General Jeff Sessions scared everyone off when he, “set his sights on the several dozen states where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, announcing federal prosecutors can decide for themselves whether to press cases against growers, sellers or users for violating federal law”.-Washington Post
Okay, who knows what’s going to happen. It seems like there’s been a back and forth on this subject for the last few years, yet many investors and users waiting on the so-called ‘Green Rush‘ to explode have found themselves dealing with WITHDRAWALS from the HIGHS and LOWS of stock market fluctuation.
Did you see what I did there? I put it in caps so you would see it. WITHDRAWALS, HIGHS, LOWS.
Needless to say, all of this recent marijuana news SPARKED an idea (okay, I think that’s the last one…maybe). I said to myself, “self, what would happen to the United States if marijuana was actually legalized?” So, without further ado, in no particular order, I present to you…The 10 Side Effects of Legalizing Marijuana in The United States.
1. Square States
Similar to prohibition, marijuana legalization on a federal level would not prevent states from enacting their own set of rules. According to NABCA.org; “As of June 2016, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Florida, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and even Bourbon Capital of the World Kentucky, each have at least one dry county, while an additional 15 states have smaller dry communities (usually municipalities) within otherwise “wet” counties. Taken together, that’s nearly half of all states with some prohibitionist holdouts stopping alcohol sales and production.” I’m guessing those states’ population would rapidly start depleting soon after legalization or at the least, they’ll be missing out on a lot of income.
2. Royal Rumbles
Marijuana is standing in the middle of the ring surrounded by Tobacco, Big Pharma, and Alcohol. This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a fair fight ladies and gentleman!
According to U.S. News, “For years, large corporations and well-heeled lobbyists have blocked the legalization of marijuana for medical use or recreational use in order to protect their own profits. Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and the alcohol and beer industries have all lobbied for years to keep marijuana illegal because they fear the competition that legalized weed would bring.”
With that much buying power fighting for lifelong customers, things can get real ugly and real confusing real quick. Remember those graphic smoking commercials a few years back? Oh, you thought a commercial with a lady puffing through a hole in her throat was shocking? Hold my beer.
3. Religious Reefer
According to a Psychology Today study in 2006, “findings suggest that people who use psychedelic drugs consider themselves more spiritual, and perhaps less materialistic, than people who prefer other drugs or who do not use illegal drugs at all.” You know what that means.
There will be no shortage of religious groups (old and new) fighting for their right to have certain days off to literally ‘catch the holy ghost’. Could be a cool way to get off from work or school though. Hmm.
4. More Tourists
It’s not like everyone’s a fan of the stuff, but just think about how many foreigners would love to come to America just to toke up. I mean most of them come over here just walk down Times Square and see The Naked Cowboy in New York City. All jokes aside, this influx of tourism would anger those who are annoyed by tourists but would also bring in tons of revenue.
5. Addicts Can Get The Help They Need
Often drug use is the direct result of a person trying to deal with or relieve mental or physical pain. Just as an alcoholic may find creative ways to excessively hit the bottle undetected, marijuana users do the same. The difference with alcohol is that it’s legalization leaves many opportunities for friends and loved ones to notice symptoms of addiction when the addict is socially drinking with them at an event or celebration.
With criminalization of marijuana, addicts are forced to deal with their addiction in private or around others who are addicts as well or too high to realize that their friend or relative may have an underlying issue that is being masked by marijuana use. The philosophy here is that the more people see you struggling with addiction, the better chance you have of getting help should you need any. Even if you think marijuana is from the earth and it’s good for you, the truth is that anything in excess is bad for you.
6. Law Enforcement Will Face New & Possibly Bigger Challenges
First, you have the possible overturning of minor marijuana convictions, then there’s the Prohibition factor. The prohibition of alcohol enhanced the revenue of organized crime and in turn, the whole system started to malfunction. Criminals bribed cops, judges, and even politicians (we all know how honest they can be) all while possessing a green light to do whatever they pleased.
This often led to bloodshed, death, and destruction. What do you think is going to happen when marijuana is legal? Yea, the real money is in the stronger stuff, but you’d better believe that making Mary Jane available to the public might put a dent in the pockets of criminals and terrorists who’s budgets depends on it. But, maybe not. That brings us to #7.
7. Uncle Sam vs. The Family
According to TaxFoundation.org, the money injected into the economy by way of marijuana legalization would make Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire look like wimps. To make a long story short I will give you the gold nuggets.
“Federal and state governments have several options for taxes on a legal marijuana industry. A federal excise tax on marijuana similar to that of cigarettes, approximately $23 per pound of product, would raise approximately $500 million in additional revenue. A 10 percent sales surtax, similar in nature to those adopted recently by Colorado and other states and proposed in recent legislation by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, would raise approximately $5.3 billion in additional revenue; higher excise tax rates would raise proportionately more.”
Whoa, that’s a lot of GREEN (okay last one). Now flash back to number 6 and ask yourself, “if users are being taxed out the wazoo to buy legally, why wouldn’t they just continue to buy illegally?” If you ask me this just opens up the market for anybody to find some way to grow and sell on the black market. Think about it.
You could increase the regular street price from what it is now and still keep it below ‘legal’ prices giving prospective customers a great deal while NOT SHARING YOUR PROFITS WITH UNCLE SAM. But, then little nobody pot dealer will have to compete with already frustrated organized crime affiliates in your town, city or state. Oh and those honest politicians…how much of the taxpayer’s money will end up in their pockets? Worse, what they do or not do to get that money?
8. Some People Will Get Rich Overnight
Although many say that legalization on the federal level is decades away, this list is based on a scenario where it’s already been done. In this case, anyone who was able to buy low on massive shares and hold on tight to some MJ Stocks would see their portfolio go through the roof.
I’m no stock expert, but I’ve learned from enough of them about speculators and how they drive stock prices up. I believe the legalization of marijuana will initially cause a rise in prices high enough to get the savvy, risk-taking investor paid.
Although this may sound enticing, buying these stocks is very risky. Almost every expert warns against the risks unless you can balance your portfolio for losses. Take a look at this article from Forbes to get a little insight into the HIGHS and LOWS of investing in MJ stocks. Couldn’t resist.
9. Health Benefits & Risks
According to health.com studies suggest marijuana can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy, cancer, and more, but also stressed that anyone with underlined heart conditions may be at risk. Also, they stress that it’s not safe to ‘smoke and drive’.
“A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that insurance claim rates for motor vehicle accidents from 2012 to 2016 were about 3% higher in states with legalized marijuana than in states without. But other studies have found no such increase in fatal car crashes in states with legalized marijuana, compared to similar states without.” Oh and even though it’s not tobacco, smoking marijuana is still smoking.
It poses similar health risks. Guidelines recommend you “avoid smoking burnt cannabis, and choose vaporizers or edibles instead while avoiding ‘deep inhalation’ or ‘breath-holding”.
I just thought about one more thing. What happens when you add the health benefits of legalized prescription marijuana with your job? The same thing that happens when you add the health benefits of any prescription drug with your job. If medical insurance is supplied by your employer then essentially your employer would be paying you to get high! Wow.
10. Lazy People Might Get Lazier
According to the NY Post “people who have a household income of less than $20,000 a year comprise 19 percent of the population but make up 28 percent of marijuana users. And even though those who earn more than $75,000 make up 33 percent of the population, 25 percent of them are marijuana users.
Having more education also seems to make it less likely that you are a user. College graduates make up 27 percent of the population but only 19 percent of marijuana users.” I will explain this in layman’s terms.
People with money usually want to make more money to ensure their lifestyle stays constant, so most won’t be attracted to a drug that slows people down. Making money in this country initially takes long hours and a lot of energy.
These money chasers will want an opioid or amphetamine such as cocaine or Adderall. Don’t believe me? Go check out this Netflix Documentary titled, Take Your Pills and then see if you still disagree.
On the other hand, those in the working class, often find themselves believing that their lives will not get better unless they hit the lotto or get a million-dollar lawsuit. This sadly causes them to try to enjoy the few hours they have between working and sleeping.
While writing this one I must admit I am getting a bit upset due to the fact that many have given up all hopes of financial freedom, but I understand the frustration that would cause them to do so. Let’s end this off with a funny one so I don’t get depressed enough to start smoking weed.
11. SNACK PRICES WILL RISE!
I will not research this one because there is no need to. You can feel free to if you choose. For me, it’s a simple example of supply and demand.
You make a drug that gives you the munchies and munchies will fly off the shelves. This is a country built on a Capitalist economic system so once the demand for these snacks goes up so to will the prices. If marijuana is legalized look for prices to go up on these 25 brand named munchies at the least. This list is courtesy of Complex.
The 25 Greatest Stoner Snack Foods of All Time
24. Cookie Dough
22. Cosmic Brownies
21. Bar-B-Q Fritos
20. Cinnamon Rolls
17. Cheez Wiz
13. Cheese Balls
12. Pop Tarts
10. Top Ramen
8. Pizza Rolls
I had to do it one last time. GROWN ups. Get it…GROWN…MARIJUANA? I’m going, to be honest right now; I love a nice home cooked meal, but that list has me tantalizing about a majority of those snacks.
These days I try to eat relatively healthy and watch my salt and sugar intake, so I’d have to be high to even think about eating most of that stuff. So, what did we learn here?
When you add everything up the only thing that we can be certain about is the fact that the legalization of marijuana will affect us all in some way. Rather than run away from a topic as hot and believe it or not as important as this, I chose to do what any grown person with an attachment to his fellow humans and society would do.
I talked about it. If you feel this subject is taboo or a little risqué then I wonder what you’re going to do if this ever does happen? The world is changing, just as it has throughout history. Run and hide from the change and you will be wasting an opportunity to become a part of it.
If you have an ahem…smoking problem and want to quit once and for all, these guys claim they have some HIGHER education for you. Okay, that was definitely the last one.
What do you think about these 11 side effects of legalizing marijuana? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have some more? Leave a reply in the comment box below.