Where is marijuana legalized for recreational use, and what are the consequences of this move?
In 1969, 12% of the public pushed for weed decriminalization. This figure rose to 66% in 2018. Colorado and Washington first approved recreational and adult-use pot in 2012. Since then, the conversation about legalization is becoming encouraging.
From permitting the cultivation of mold-resistant cannabis seeds to commercial distribution, many forms of decriminalization inspire marijuana use. Legalization supporters believe the action is a potential economic booster, job creator, and terminator of social injustice.
Is that the case, though? Keep reading to discover the unfolding dynamics of marijuana legitimization and its growing popularity among US adults.
What’s the Latest on Weed Legalization?
Legalization started in Colorado in 2012. Voters passed a ballot initiative to legalize the herb for recreational use and sale.
Thanks to this pioneering step, 18 more states, including Washington, DC and Guam, followed suit within a decade. Immense public support for regulation led to the tabling of marijuana-related bills in Congress targeting federal decriminalization.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, introduced on July 21, 2022, is a newer bill supporting weed legalization. It also aims at expunging marijuana-related criminal records.
On October 7, 2022, President Joe Biden committed to grant pardons to anyone convicted of simple cannabis possession. He also called on governors to advance similar moves while reconsidering the federal classification of the herb.
After reviewing several marijuana legalization studies, supporters argue that weed is a more user-friendly and natural substance than alcohol. It also has reported therapeutic benefits such as pain and stress relief.
States that have legalized cannabis see it as a way to boost social justice. Decriminalization reverses the wrongs inflicted on minority communities by disproportionate marijuana laws.
What American Adults Think About Legal Marijuana and Why It’s Popular
Personal beliefs and preferences on weed are part of why cannabis is becoming so popular among US adults.
Consider the population’s general sentiment on legalizing marijuana with these statistics:
- A 2021 poll by Pew Research Center reveals overwhelming support for weed legitimization by the American public.
- Among 91% of adults surveyed, 31% back legalization for medical use only. Some 61% believe states should liberalize the herb for clinical and recreational applications.
- Even without specifying use, popular opinion in the USA leans more in favor of legalization. Between 2000 and 2019, supporters more than doubled, while opposers shrunk from 52% in 2010 to 32% in 2021.
- About 68% of democrats and 49% of republicans support regularization for both medicinal and recreational use. The latter are more likely to approve weed for clinical purposes only.
- Younger adults tend to back the legitimization drive more than their older counterparts. One study observed that over 11% of youngsters with health conditions use cannabis daily.
Popular weed-growing Youtube channels might have something to do with this inclination. Online platforms are a significant source of inspiration in the 21st century, especially among millennials.
Why Legalize Recreational Weed in the USA?
According to many proponents, here’s why recreational weed should be legal in the United States despite opposition.
State legalization could deliver many economic benefits, including increased tax revenue, investment opportunities, and job creation.
In 2019, the aggregate turnover for states stood at $3.7 billion from the sale of legal, adult-use marijuana.
Colorado pot revenue is three times what alcohol generates. In its first fiscal year of launching cannabis sales, the state earned $78 million, followed by $129 million in the second year. Washington hit a total collection of $220 million in its second year, all from tax revenue.
Nursery and dispensary establishments in legal states spur job creation while fueling economic activity in the cannabis industry. This robust growth opens up new possibilities for investors interested in marijuana to diversify their portfolios.
Enhanced Consumer Safety
One of the potential effects of marijuana legalization is more herb use. Marijuana boasts many reported therapeutic benefits to enhance lifestyle, like impacting your body’s response to fitness activities.
When purchased from the streets, it’s hard to tell if the cannabis you’re consuming is safe. How do you know if it’s fungus, mold, or pesticide-infested?
The government can enforce regulations such as lab testing to guarantee toxin-free weed thanks to legalization.
Some states, such as Washington, require quality assurance, health warnings, and THC content labeling to protect users. Others like Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon have laws minimizing minors’ exposure to the herb, such as child-resistant packaging.
Seamless Industry Operation
The legalization of weed results in smooth interaction among different industry players. It lets the government license and control the entire marijuana supply chain, from growers, distributors, and retailers, to testing labs.
Decriminalization also helps authorities set age limits on weed buyers and restrictions on the doses for cannabis edibles.
In states like California, weed regulation allows the government to stay on top of seed-to-sale testing and monitoring.
Where Does Weed Popularity Lead?
Are you hoping to see marijuana legalized for recreational use nationally? Progress is promising as more states seek to decriminalize the herb in various ways, increasing its chances of going mainstream.
Stakeholders are keen to explore the economic benefits of this move, leaving many compelling reasons to push for federal legalization.
How do you feel about this movement? Show your support for decriminalization by voting in initiatives or sharing campaign ads.