The US has 45 legal marijuana states
Back in 1996 California was the first US state to legalize medical marijuana. Over the past 22 years, legal marijuana states have increased dramatically leaving only 5 states that still have marijuana illegal. It has become clear that it is only a matter of time before marijuana is federally legal in the United States of America. While South Africa is stuck in a state of limbo concerning the legalization of marijuana here, the US has created a growing industry. This growing industry has created jobs and boosted the overall economy on a massive scale.
45 Legal Marijuana States
Even though marijuana is not recreationally legal in all 45 legal states, if the current trend of legalization is to continue we will soon see many more states legalize marijuana for recreational use. Currently, only 10 states in the United States have legalized marijuana for recreational use. The remaining 35 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use only. As we have seen with California, legal medical marijuana eventually leads to legalization on a recreational level. These states have made the educated decision and gone ahead with legalization even though marijuana is still illegal on a federal level.
Legalization is based on scientific research
Marijuana has been widely studied over the last 22 years and what these studies have shown is a clear contradiction to most of the anti-marijuana propaganda that was once commonplace in the US. Many studies have shown that there are various medical benefits to the use of marijuana. Many medical conditions can be treated with the cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. These cannabis-based medications offer a great alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals. Especially patients that experienced negative side effects from the use of traditional pharmaceuticals have turned to marijuana to relieve the symptoms connected to their specific medical condition.
The stigma surrounding the recreational use of cannabis has also largely evaporated or gone up in smoke. Many people now use marijuana as a recreational substance rather than other recreational drugs like alcohol and tobacco. Studies have also show that marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol and tobacco, leading many people to abandon the more harmful two for marijuana.
Economic growth in the Legal Marijuana States
If marijuana is legalized on a federal level the United States could see additional funds of $105.6 billion generated from the sales of medical and recreational marijuana. This according to a report by cannabis analytic firm New Frontier. Fully legalizing marijuana would also create 654,000 jobs, with the number of jobs growing to over 1 million by 2025. States, where marijuana has already been legalized, will attest to the positive economic impact legalization has had. The economic growth is not only because of strict sales tax but also because of industries that are created around legal marijuana. Everything from clothing, paraphernalia production, marketing and research and development businesses have popped up to cater to the ever-growing market of marijuana consumers.
How long until full legalization?
If you asked the same question 23 years ago, the answer would have been much more complicated than it is now. That being said, there is still no way to really tell exactly how long it will be until all states are legal marijuana states. What we can say for sure is that we are much closer than we were just 22 years ago.