Face the facts, kush is life. Everyone needs some stick icky. "Smoke weed every day" is the best thing Oprah ever said. With many states on the road to total pot legalization, and with the west coast already covered in the devil's lettuce, it's time to look at the effects of this radical drug on American life.
Beyond growing and selling weed, the cannabis industry creates numerous jobs in various fields. Smoking accessories, tourism, marketing, the business of growing pot has a lot of implications. In one year legal marijuana created over 18,000 jobs in Colorado. I've heard that the sales of Cheetos and eye drops are through the roof too.
You can't make money without the government taking some, right? Well, you can if you're ultra-wealthy, but we don't have to talk about that. Two years ago, in 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes on marijuana. $135 million in 2015. For perspective, the next year, in 2016, total marijuana sales in the US grew 30% to $6.7 billion, and by 2021, that number is projected to reach $20.1 billion. So, if you love America, you'd better smoke weed.
People love weed, but they don't love spending money. And in states with legal marijuana, government-backed dealers are more expensive because they include expenses such as taxes in their price points. For that reason, many users still opt to buy from private residences.
Am I going out on a limb to say that little children shouldn't get high? I don't know. Children smoking weed is not good because their brains are growing from tiny, kid-sized brains into big, stupid adult brains. Studies show, however, that kids don't try marijuana earlier if the drug is legalized.
Either way, if your kid wants to be cool, then he or she is going to have to try some drugs. Especially the dangerous ones. That got dark. Moving on, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine implies that, regardless of legal status, kids will probably smoke weed at the same rate. This makes sense. However, if smoking weed is no longer a taboo, the logic follows that kids will smoke less weed, right?
People suck at driving and will continue to suck at driving at exactly the same rates, regardless of weed legalization in their state. Our only hope is that Elon Musk will invent completely autonomous self-driving cars that will eliminate traffic fatalities and allow us all to drink whiskey while going to the supermarket. Don't drink and drive.
Heroin is so awesome that it will ruin your life. So, in some ways, heroin isn't awesome. Either way, the United States is facing an extremely serious opioid epidemic, and studies show that medical marijuana means fewer opioid deaths, with this effect growing stronger for every consecutive year after cannabis legalization.
You can't overdose on weed. You can, however, get so high that you think you're overdosing on weed, and this is exactly what happens when states legalize pot. So, do not give tourists edibles. That should be a sign outside of pot dispensaries, like those signs that say "Please do not feed the animals." If someone is wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt and wants to "try a weed," give them the weak stuff. Also give them a copy of Planet Earth, but that's just a personal recommendation.
Independent of legalization, pot has definitely grown stronger with time. And with a larger market, one can assume that cannabis sellers will look to find new and improved ways to get their clients toasted. The modern pot universe is one that's filled with cannabis oil, weed lemonade, and ganja so sticky that you could fix a broken cabinet. Everyone take your time.
Weed brings in a lot of money, and money changes neighborhoods. Dispensaries are lucrative enough to pay high rent prices, and if the owner of a shopping mall has the choice between five mom-and-pop candle stores or five weed shops selling skanky kush-kush, there's no choice at all. The owner is going with the candle stores, obviously, because she loves fruity aromas. And her pothead son will not move out of her basement. She loves him, but she also knows that he sucks.
Marijuana laws are complicated. The rule of law is different on a national, state and local level, not to mention all the intricacies in between. This conflict is often confusing for police officers, who have to make decisions on the ground based on enigmatic and ever-changing laws. This issue likely won't go away until pot is legal on a federal level, and maybe not even then.
In Colorado, people of color are still 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses, which still exist in Colorado (see "Complicated Laws"). There are many potential reasons for this statistic, one of them being that folks are more likely to call the cops on black kids smoking weed than on white kids. This is because folks are still racist, even if you refer to them as "folks." #AmericanDream? #What?
Finally, marijuana legalization will result in more hugs. I don't have a statistic to back up this claim, but let's just say it's based on "personal experience." Weed brings out the hugs, and everyone should receive more hugs. Not everyone should give more hugs, for sure, but in terms of receiving them, everyone should receive more hugs. Hugs and nugs, that's what I say.