Economic Marijuana


Marijuana, also commonly known as pot, weed, grass, etc. comes from Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. As a psychoactive substance, it is the oldest known natural plant to humans and grows in many countries if not all. Marijuana has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for many years; despite this, it remains illegal to produce, use or even possess in many countries. In the U.S, only ten states have legalized its recreational use as 33 have legalized its medicinal use the rest it is illegal. This plant has created debates in many states, whether to legalize it or not. Wanting to know where the line shall be drawn between recreational marijuana and medicinal marijuana. Back in 2012, Colorado voters passed an amendment 64 and legalized recreational marijuana, and since then other states started joining in. As an economist I am going to support the idea of legalizing Marijuana; hence in this paper, I will support the idea economically without fear or favor.

Economic Benefits

Marijuana legalization will bring in money without a doubt. In overall, legalization of Marijuana will mean a big push for the U.S economy and big bucks for both the state and the federal government. Below we shall explore the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana in the U.S or any other country for that matter.


Tax Revenue

One of the most appealing arguments in the legalization of the drug is increased tax revenue that it will bring to the country’s economy. The legalization has a significant advantage over probation as legalizing will allow the government to collect taxes from the drug. Unlike probation where the government ends up using the money to curb the use of the drug. High demand for recreational marijuana shows that legalization will yield or bring the government a lot of tax revenue. In the black market, marijuana prices are quite low as there are no taxes. Hence legalizing the drug will help the government to control the sale of the drug by imposing high fees and keeping at competitive prices with other intoxicants such as alcohol. Taxation of Marijuana products has already been seen and proven in Colorado the first state to legalize the drug. After the first two years after legalization in Colorado, there is tremendous and significant monetary tax revenue. Where the sales of both recreational and medicinal reaching almost $1 billion in 2015, and the same year they collected more than $135 million in tax and legal fees. Research carried out by the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis showed that the cannabis industry had contributed more than $58 million to the local economy as the rest was used for state’s school construction and public programs such as substance abuse and regulation of marijuana use.

Income and Jobs

Legalization of marijuana will lead to the setting up of marijuana nurseries and dispensaries in that specific state or country for that matter. These will create jobs from the farmer, the supplier, employees in the industries, wholesalers and the retailer. It will also set the ball rolling for the economic activities in the cannabis industry. Creating infrastructure, like in California and Nevada where the economic impact is now quantifiable as the sector has already matured. A study that was carried out in Nevada by ARCG economics and Marijuana Policy Group showed that legalizing recreational marijuana would create 41,000 jobs till 2024 and generate over $1.7 billion in labor income. 81,000 direct jobs, indirect and induced jobs would be created in California after the legalization of marijuana a study by ICF showed and a total labor income of at least $3.5 billion. A report later released by New Frontier’s report predicted that if Marijuana is legalized nationwide, then 1.1 million jobs will be created by 2025. From the above reports and studies, it is clear without a doubt that the legalization of marijuana will create jobs as well as generate income.

Investment Opportunities

If and only if marijuana is legalized in the whole country; marijuana companies would take such an opportunity to list their stocks on all the U.S exchanges. From economics, this will enhance liquidity and open up the economy for more investors both local and international. From what we have seen from reports and studies, the industry would grow, and more investors would show interest in the industry. The investment brings with it job creation, revenue collection and general wellbeing of people in that country.

Money Saved

The government would save a lot of money for legalizing marijuana. A 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that the cost that was being used by federal marijuana enforcement was approximately $3.6 billion per year. Hence the more the states that would legalize marijuana, the lower the cost for the enforcement. These costs would lower considerably if the whole nation legalized the substance. Another critical factor is that the legalization of marijuana would lead to fewer court cases involving substance trial. Leading to fewer incarcerations, hence more money saved. Consumers using marijuana for medicinal purposes would also save money as the price of marijuana products would drop due to commoditization.


From the above points, it’s clear that legalizing marijuana will do more good than harm to our countries economy. Which will lead to better living standards and a happy nation in general. If there were an election today or referendum on the legalization of Marijuana, I would vote for Marijuana legalization.




Work Cited

Hajizadeh, M. (2016). Legalizing and regulating marijuana in Canada: review of potential economic, social, and health impacts. International journal of health policy and management5(8), 453.

Evans, David. “The economic impacts of marijuana legalization.” (2013).

Hajizadeh, Mohammad. “Legalizing And Regulating Marijuana In Canada: Review Of Potential Economic, Social, And Health Impacts.” Health Policy and Management (2016): n. pag. Web. 15 Mar. 2019.

KRISHNA, MRINALINI. “The Economic Benefits Of Legalizing Weed.” Investopedia(2018): n. pag. Web. 15 Mar. 2019.