The legalization of marijuana brings with it many benefits that could positively affect the United States. In particular, one benefit is the economic benefit. There have been many predictions that by making weed legal the government would save mass amounts of money in several places, the first being in prisons. If marijuana were deemed legal, the crime rate would decrease, therefore allowing the government to cut prison spending. Also, according to S.E. Smith’s “Why we need to finally legalize marijuana” in the Daily Dot, “Cutting down on the number of men imprisoned for drug-related offenses also has indirect economic benefits, by keeping men in their own communities, an issue that was recognized as early as 1988. Systemic poverty can be directly linked to fractured communities, such as those that have been torn apart by the drug war.” This would greatly increase the savings of the government’s money.
Also, legalization of marijuana benefits the economy in regards to taxes. For example, Colorado’s pot legalization legislation, Amendment 64, is estimated to create $60 million for the state in combined savings and additional tax revenue. Moreover, Forbes reported that including lost tax revenues, enforcing the marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers $41.8 billion annually. Aside from Colorado, California evidently benefits from legalization of marijuana. The city of Oakland, California raised $1.3 million in tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011, which is 3 percent of the city’s total business tax revenue, according to The New York Times.
Evidently, the legalization of marijuana would greatly benefit the economy. There has been an estimate that the impact of the marijuana industry could soar to $24.4 billion. According to Sean William’s “Marijuana Could Have a Surprising Economic Impact, New Report Shows,” “the other source of frustration is that most financial institutions are avoiding working with marijuana businesses due to fear of federal prosecution and/or fines from the federal government at a later date.” Overall, marijuana surprisingly has a strong impact on individuals and the economy, and legalizing it would only help.