Taxed and well-regulated medical cannabis programs create numerous economic benefits to state and local governments. These systems are already being implemented in over 23 states and their reward is bountiful. Here are some of the economic benefits that regulating cannabis can inject into our ailing economies:
Increase Revenues Without Tax Increases
Cannabis is a $50+ billion dollar industry. Currently, all of those revenues go directly to cartels and criminal gangs. Through regulation and taxation, we can transform these black market billions into taxable revenues. This new income can bolster our state economy without raising taxes on main street.
Job creation is integral to any robust economy. Cannabis jobs already exist in Georgia; unfortunately, they all are held by criminals. A well-regulated medical cannabis program will create new jobs for hard-working, tax-paying Georgians. From horticulturists cultivating plants, to labs testing the safety of the medicine, to employees at dispensaries, regulated medical cannabis will create thousands of new, high-paying jobs in our state.
Decrease Government Spending
Cannabis prohibition is expensive. Harvard economist, Jeffrey Miron, estimates that state and federal governments spend an excess of $20 billion per year fighting this little green plant. Much of this cost comes from burdening our justice system, wasting law enforcement’s time, and using $1200/week of taxpayer money incarcerating cannabis offenders. To add insult to injury, these efforts continue to fail as cannabis is more available than ever before.
Fortify Infrastructure and Social Programs
Applying the increased revenues with the decreased expenses caused by medical cannabis legalization yields a net gain in the billions. This ‘new’ money can be used to fortify our many distressed and underfunded public works programs like the lagging education system, build new roads that reduce traffic and increase Social Security and Medicare benefits for our seniors.
Weaken Criminal Organizations
How do gangs and cartels have the same weapons that our military uses? Why do drug dealers drive $100,000 cars?
Because selling illicit drugs is a wildly lucrative and untaxed business.
Legalizing and regulating medical cannabis will take this profit center away from murderous criminals and transfer it to licensed and regulated businesses. By taking these revenues from organized crime, we can significantly weaken them financially. Additionally, we will be able to control how and to whom medical cannabis is dispensed by setting responsible standards to which businesses must adhere.
Liquor stores ID customers, drug dealers do not.
“Regulation and taxation is the conservative, fiscally responsible approach to medical marijuana.”