State Votes on Recreational Marijuana Could Raise Stronger Challenge to Federal Ban

Five states will vote next month whether to legalize recreational marijuana. If the states vote to legalize the drug, the federal government’s ban on marijuana will face a stronger challenge, The New York Times reports.

California, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona and Nevada will be voting on legalization initiatives. Recreational marijuana is already legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

In August, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it would not reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

A recent report estimated that if California legalizes recreational marijuana, the nation’s current $6 billion legal marijuana industry would triple in size.

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    Ken Wolski

    October 27, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Marijuana arrests create second class citizens who, once arrested, are less likely to have access to employment, education, and public housing, and are more likely to reoffend. This population requires more tax dollars as it results in a lower socioeconomic status that contributes less to society and requires more services. Whatever sales tax on marijuana that is made is just gravy on top of the real prize–the avoided costs of continued prohibition, both financial and social.
    And don’t forget the medical savings that are possible. Marijuana’s therapeutic potential is enormous, despite the opinion of the DEA (federal police). When marijuana is universally available, and patients and physicians are taught how to safely and effectively use it, it will significantly reduce the need for expensive pharmaceuticals, surgeries, hospitalizations, emergency services, etc. Consequently, this will reduce the need for taxpayer dollars to fund charity health care, inmate health care, etc.
    Marijuana legalization is, without a doubt, sound fiscal policy that has enormous benefits for the taxpayer. Moreover, it is a tax that many people are more than willing, even eager, to pay.

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