Economic factors: marijuana


U.S. map shows status of marijuana decriminalization laws across the states; Colorado has become the first state to sell the drug for recreational use. MCT 2014

By Alex Dalton
Staff Writer

Marijuana in Colorado is a controversial debate that has been ongoing since 2013 when the law passed to legalize the practice. Only behind Washington, Colorado is one of the first states to hop on this new trend.

Texas conservatives are not on board with this new way to get our state in an economic balance because of the product.

Although the organization Patients For Medical Cannabis, has multiple facts representing how marijuana is found to be less harmful than cigarettes and tobacco, two legal drugs, marijuana is still seen as something equally as dangerous. “One joint is equal to 10 cigarettes” is only an urban myth spread through generations of drug preventing parents.

Since Colorado opened its marijuana shops on Jan. 1, the economic value of marijuana is overwhelming. Texas has been split between the conservatives who are against the legalization and those who think it could benefit our economy.

Coming out of slump, Texas could always use another profitable way to come back from dark days. With the distribution and legalization of marijuana people will be less tempted with the drug, and the forms of attaining the drug would be less dangerous.

Instead of creating deaths and arrest over the distribution of marijuana, it could be used to profit our economy and bring more protection for our cities from dangerous drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines.

With the use of marijuana, a consumer would be not be succumbed to long term effects like addiction, cancer, or shrinkage of lung, unlike cigarettes, which is 18 percent of Texas.

Also, with the legalization, the state will collect the majority of the profits because the pot is being distributed in a state run center.

“In, all about $1 million in business was done at about 25 pot shops on the first day of marijuana’s legalization in Colorado,” CNN reported. “Such commerce translates into a bonanza for state tax collectors, who are expectant to receive up to $67 million a year initially.”

With people trying to use marijuana outside of the law, it has caused more dangerous effects like underground production of unsafe ways to smoke it.

“People don’t eat marijuana often because you need more to get as high that way, and it isn’t cheap or easy to get (which is the reason why some people will stoop to smoking leaves),” Patients For Medical Cannabis has written.

Colorado seems to be benefitting from this new change and with Texas’ conservative standpoints its nearly impossible to believe that Texas would also take part in the trend for some economic growth.

But without a new way for Texas to gain taxpayers’ money, our states’ economy could be put back in 2009 when we were at a downfall. It is worth stretching out our conservative views for a nicer place to live, and quite possibly a greater, more utilized place for the next generation to grow up in.