Texas, It’s Time to Legalize Marijuana
Let me start by saying this is an opinion piece with a few facts thrown in. I was surfing the headlines today, the day after our election, and noticed five more states have legalized marijuana in some form or fashion, but not here in Texas.
According to AL News, five states voted to legalize marijuana. In fact, every state with legalized marijuana measures on its ballot saw majority votes in favor last night. Those states were New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi.
Arizona, New Jersey, Montana , South Dakota made recreational use of marijuana legal for adults 21 and over. Mississippians didn't have recreational marijuana on their ballot this year, but voters did approve the use of medical marijuana for patients with “debilitating medical conditions.”
According to The Guardian, The State of Oregon went one step further and not only legalized therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms, but also decriminalized possession of hard drugs including heroin, cocaine, and LSD.
What does Texas have to gain from legalized marijuana? According to Benzinga, Texas spends nearly $750 million annually on enforcement. Not to mention the cost it takes to prosecute and jail those convicted of marijuana possession and use. If legalizing means eliminating those costs, along with alleviating some of the state tax revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19, then it could actually help with balancing the budget here in Texas.
Arcview Market Research says that legalizing weed in Texas could eventually bring in $3 billion to Texas. That would be, by far, the most of any state in the union aside from California.
Smoking marijuana shouldn't be a criminal offense anymore. It helps in a lot of ways. The studies show that THC can help with PTSD, cancer, seizures, glaucoma, and many more issues that people face.
It's evident with this election that the people of America are in favor of legalized weed. Regulate it, tax it, and put the money to good use.
So what's taking Texas so long to give people the choice to do the same?