In the United States, eight states currently allow legal, recreational marijuana use. In many others, medical marijuana use is sanctioned, but regulated. Although there is a growing consensus toward the legalization of marijuana, there are still risks involved with consumption. These five surprising legal marijuana facts may come as a shock to many.
The Value of the Legal Marijuana Industry is Staggering
According to a Huffington Post article, the legal marijuana industry is worth over $1.5 billion. That number is just an estimate, but it goes to show the financial interest in the legalization of marijuana.
For those concerned about the health impact of marijuana consumption, whether legal or otherwise, the financial interest may be discouraging. With so much money on the line, legalization in more states may be driven by financial rather than health interests.
States Profit From Legal Marijuana Purchases
The process of legalizing marijuana involves taxing the drug. States who legalize marijuana are able to collect huge tax revenues annually as a result. Annual tax collection estimates by state include:
- Colorado: $98 million
- Washington: $134 million
- Oregon: $60 million
- District of Columbia: $20 million
The U.S. Government Spends Billions Annually on Marijuana Prohibition
While the legalization of marijuana in some states can bring in significant revenue, the government as a whole is still spending over $17 billion annually on the prohibition of marijuana consumption, sale and purchase. This is a truly staggering amount, but that number may be reduced through further legalization.
However, some individuals worry that reduced drug awareness, prevention and monitoring could have negative impacts on society. This remains to be seen on a large scale.
Youth Marijuana Consumption in Colorado Has Decreased After Legalization
After the legalization or Marijuana in states like Colorado, a very real concern was that youth consumption would also increase. Thankfully, this has not been the case. In Colorado, just 21 percent of youths used marijuana in the past 30 days.
This is well below the national average, and below even the Colorado rate for 2009. This is largely due to the fact that even prior to legalization, marijuana was widely available, even for teenage consumption.
Nearly One-Third of Users Struggle With a Marijuana Use Disorder
Far too often, marijuana is painted in a positive or neutral light. While there may be major differences between marijuana and other drugs like heroin or cocaine, that doesn’t diminish the physical and psychological risks of use or abuse.
By some accounts, three of every ten marijuana users will go on to struggle with some form of abuse disorder, which will need treatment in order to be fully resolved.
Despite legality in some states, marijuana still poses a threat to the health of many. Call 866-656-8384 to learn more about Healing Springs Ranch and how the right treatment programs can grant you, or a loved one, freedom from addictions.