America, what are we doing?
Like many Americans, the first thing I do every morning is to check the headlines overnight, including anything that happens in the sports world.I woke up recently article About Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso was arrested for “possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia” at Eastwood Airport in College Station, Texas.
Given that Mr. Caruso is a defender of the NBA’s defending championship team and an alumnus of Texas A&M, I think his arrest will obviously make national headlines because of some absurd marijuana use. I’m wrong.
Mr. Caruso was arrested after the TSA searched his bag and found a “herbal grinder containing marijuana”. The arrest was due to possession of “less than two ounces of marijuana.” Considering it’s in a herb grinder, it may be much less than two ounces of cannabis.
I understand that the arrest of a professional basketball player for trying to board an airplane with illegal federal substances is not a national tragedy. But do you know what it is? fact In 2019, 545,602 Americans were arrested for cannabis-related crimes. 40,000 In 2020, Americans were imprisoned for crimes related to marijuana.Moreover, in extreme cases, people are still Closed for a lifetime Holds a similar amount of marijuana as Mr. Caruso.
A total of 545,602 Americans will find it difficult to find a job, because as a country, we seem determined to make marijuana federally an illegal drug, either based on the wrong premise or Naturally racistAs for the politicians who oppose the legalization of the country for social or “public safety” reasons, well, these politicians are either stupid or lying.
In Harris Bricken’s New York office, we have been thinking about “why” recreational marijuana should be legal. Our client is interested in obtaining a permit in New York. Regardless of whether they plan to obtain a planting license or a retail license, obtaining support from the local government is important for long-term success. This means that, as advocates for customers, we sometimes need to explain to local government officials why: 1) Accepting legal recreational marijuana is good for their community; 2) Accepting legal recreational marijuana will not disrupt the structure of their community (I I know it’s dramatic).
Our argument for accepting legalization applies at the federal level. Frankly speaking, rocket scientists are not required to draw the inevitable conclusion that cannabis is still an illegal drug without justification.
From a financial point of view, the benefits are obvious. estimated value US$100 billion in the illegal cannabis market in the United States. Billions with “B”. That is 100 billion U.S. dollars. It is currently unregulated, basically no taxes are levied, and no one benefits. In contrast, only 15 states have legalized recreational marijuana in some form (16 years old now, hello Connecticut!), estimated value The share of the legal cannabis market in 2021 is $16.1 billion. It is expected to increase to 24 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.Only in New York, the legal marijuana market Expected By 2025, the value will reach 3.7 billion U.S. dollars.
Taxes on legal sales have been a boon for many states.Let us assume that the federal legalization, when it finally happens, will have a tax structure sufficient to offset overnight interest IRC 280E flow away. As a country with a health budget deficit, why don’t we want to get some tax from the other $100 billion in sales across the country?
Taxation aside, the auxiliary income from the legalization of marijuana across the country will boost our economy. Banking services, transportation and logistics, software, security, real estate, etc. are all industries that can increase income and in turn provide more job opportunities. Maintain the status quo to keep all these economic benefits in the black market.
It’s not just about making more money from the legal profession.The average annual cost of imprisoning an American is 33,274 USD.1,330,960,000 US dollars are spent annually to imprison Americans for cannabis-related crimes. This does not even include the exponentially increased resources spent by law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting these “crimes” or the human cost of lives destroyed by such arrests.
But these are simple statistical arguments, which are difficult to contradict the data. The social “harm” of marijuana is what politicians rely on when claiming that the legalization of marijuana will be an unprecedented disaster. We are all familiar with the social arguments against legal marijuana: marijuana needs to be kept away from children; marijuana is a dangerous entry drug; marijuana breeds criminal activity in some way.
Let’s start with the easily accessible argument.The reality is that marijuana will Harder For minors to purchase after legalization. When I said that buying marijuana in high school might be easier than buying alcohol, I think I represent a lot of people. why? Because you can only buy alcohol from a licensed agency, and the agency will risk the license when selling alcohol to minors. As far as I know, no drug dealer is worried about “licenses” when selling marijuana to high school students.
When marijuana is legalized, the situation will change immediately. Not only must a retail pharmacy prove that it can prevent sales to minors, but it may lose its license if it fails to implement a system to prevent sales to minors. When adjusted to prosecution, those arguments against arrest and prosecution for marijuana sales become very different (i.e. reasonable) Unlawful Marijuana sales.
Of course, another reality is that marijuana is now easy to buy, even as an illegal substance. I am relatively sure that almost every American can buy marijuana within a phone call. I am 100% sure that every American is no more than two phones away from buying marijuana. After legalization, the convenience of access will only become more difficult.
Is marijuana dangerous? Potential. Anyone who thinks marijuana is harmless is harming the industry. Just like any other substance, dependence on cannabis can have serious negative effects. I know some people fail to reach their potential because of marijuana smoking. But I also know that people who rely on alcohol will have the same negative consequences, and the prohibition movement has been really peaceful for the past 100 years.
As far as cannabis is used as an entry-level drug, I have not seen an honest study showing that cannabis use directly leads to the use of narcotics. I would argue that we all see more people making bad life decisions under the influence of alcohol than after smoking marijuana.
But I will not emphasize this point. The debate between alcohol and marijuana is a cliché, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Both should be legal. Both should be regulated. Both require appropriate systems to avoid consumption by minors.
As far as the criminal activity of marijuana breeding is concerned, this will certainly be done when the federal law is illegal. Leaving aside the obvious definitional argument (this is a criminal activity because we chose to define it as a criminal activity), it is hard to say that the developed black market in the United States is superior to a well-regulated legal market. Organized criminal activities in the cannabis black market have become widely known.
You may ask again: “What does this have to do with Alex Caruso?” There is nothing. A professional athlete arrested for possession of marijuana did not actually shake the needle, but it was a public reminder of where we are. With all the excitement about the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York, it is easy to ignore federal laws and still treat marijuana as an illegal drug. This means that, as a country, we will continue to waste our lives, time and money in a “battle” with ourselves, and everyone will fail for no reason. We at Canna Law Blog hope that the tide is changing, maybe, just maybe, putting some more rational arguments into the ether will push us across the finish line.