Cory Jennings-DuBois | News Editor
The legalization of marijuana has been a heavily debated topic for a very long time, and in the recent years actions have finally been taken to further this process. While, in the beginning, nothing major happened, recently many states have legalized the plant under various circumstances. In the current midterm election, this is a hot debate and a close one at that.
As of right now in the election, our own state of Connecticut voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, along with many other states such as Colorado, Oregon, New York, and Maine. Other states had the option to legalize it for medical use only, or completely ignore the thought of legalization, and there are many who fall into each of those categories.
The legalization of marijuana in Connecticut did not come without an immense amount of thought. There are many positives and negatives when it comes to the passing of this law, and everyone should know how this will effect them once the election is complete.
The overall economic state the United States of America will adapt into, for example, would be a positive aspect of the legalization. By 2025, the economy would be boosted tenfold due to the new source of capital and the new category of buyers. For every $1.00 spent on marijuana, something around $2.00-$2.50 is generated and placed as an economic foothold. In 2016, the legal, government regulated marijuana industry brought in around $7.5 billion, which will only increase as the drug wins the favor of the states in the future.
Regulation of marijuana is another positive outcome that has an enormous effect on its users. Fentanyl laced marijuana is one of the leading causes of weed “overdosing”, since the United States opioid epidemic has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. Regulation of the drug will eliminate this danger, as the plant will go through more rigorous inspections and safer growth processes. Teenagers are at the higher risk of coming across this laced strain, since most of the deals are not documented. The drug is illegal to anyone under 21 in Connecticut, so a majority of these deals occur with miscellaneous weed, or weed that has been handled by many people along a chain. While the selling and buying of weed to anyone under 21 is still illegal, this law has and will minimize the dangers of the usage due to easier access of government regulated dispensaries.
The black market goes hand in hand with this. With easier access to dispensaries and government regulated marijuana, there will be limited reason for the plant to go around the black market. Dispensaries are much safer to buy marijuana from, and with this law to make marijuana open to the public, there will be more dispensary- centered sales than street sales.
A negative to this also involves black market activity. With the governmentally regulated weed comes government prices, which people will never be content with. This is an exception as to why marijuana could still be an active component of the underground drug market. The lowered prices of marijuana that appear within this community are purposefully enticing and try to lure a buyer in, without thinking about why those prices are the way they are. This is a major factor to consider, as the price of marijuana in important to its users and will most likely continue to roam the black market because of it.