Statewide, Pennsylvania has already approved medical marijuana for certain conditions. When it comes to statewide legalization, there are some definite pros to making marijuana legal recreationally.
Pennsylvania need only look to other states who have legalized to see the benefits that they, too, can reap. By October of 2016, Colorado had already topped $1 billion in marijuana sales for the year. Translating that to revenues for the state, Colorado brought in $150 million in taxes from recreational marijuana sales. $50 million of that is reinvested right back into the state’s school system.
The story in Washington was similar. Between legalizing recreational marijuana in 2014 and 2015, the state sold more than $1 billion in non-medical marijuana. This generated $250 million in excise tax revenues.
By legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, both states saw a decrease in arrests for the possession and cultivation of the drug, leading to fewer revenues spent housing and feeding inmates arrested for this crime. Since the criminal justice system sees more arrests for marijuana than all violent crimes combined, the legalization of marijuana can have a huge impact on state and local prison systems.
Legalizing marijuana can prevent Pennsylvania from using law enforcement resources in raids like the one that happened in April. With those resources free, they can be allocated to pursuing more worthwhile cases. Pennsylvania can see an increase in tax revenues that can be utilized statewide to improve schools, infrastructure, and provide more revenue for other worthy projects. Citizens and state officials alike could stand to benefit from the statewide legalization of marijuana.
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.