Not too long ago it was announced that Trump would be likely to support legislation that would end the federal ban on marijuana. This sparked a discussion on whenever or not Trump would be the president to legalize recreational cannabis and unfortunately it isn’t clear whenever or not the Trump administration will do it. Ending the federal ban on marijuana would be a victory for liberty in the United States.
According to researchers, marijuana has the lowest risk of mortality and is safer to use than alcohol and tobacco. The United States has spent more than 50 billion dollars on continuing the war on drugs. That’s 50 billion in taxpayer dollars that mostly go into arresting non-violent marijuana users. Like Alcohol, marijuana has many medical uses as well so why hasn’t the US taken advantage of marijuana and legalized it?
From the standpoint of the state, the federal government would save money by not having to go after non-violent users and instead could allow the free market to provide and create private businesses that could focus on safely distributing the product. In 2017 the legal cannabis business was worth about 10 billion dollars and it has the potential to be a lot more. Most states do not allow recreational use and some don’t even allow it for medical use which limits the lucratively of the business.
Legalizing recreational marijuana would open these markets and would allow the FDA to make sure the products are safe for use. This would make cannabis safer than buying it from a local dealer. This would essentially kill the black market for the product, violent gangs that profit off growing and distributing the drug would no longer be able to profit off selling the product now that individuals could walk down the street to a dispensary instead.
If Trump has the opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana, he absolutely should take it. Not only does marijuana have a lot of bipartisan support from voters, it would enrich our country by allowing us to tap into another revenue stream. It would also create a safer society by eliminating the black market for the product.
You can read more from Joseph Gatti on Think Liberty here.