Thursday, March 23, 2023

Richardson: Why South Carolina Should Legalize Marijuana – Charleston City Paper

The South Carolina House of Representatives on May 4, at the behest of our state’s leaders, opted to strike down what is technically a medical marijuana bill. This was despite the fact that the bill enjoyed widespread popular support and was the most conservative medical marijuana law in the country.

Chris Richardson

Our leaders have shown time and again that we have to keep pace with the times and reality. This bill is no different. Far from taking a piecemeal approach to the issue, South Carolina needs leaders ready to harness marijuana’s full economic potential. We need full legalization for recreational purposes and completely pardoning those convicted of marijuana offenses.

This is the reason why this red state will benefit from being green. Marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Sales of adult-use and medical marijuana products will reach $25 billion in 2021 and could reach $100 billion by 2030. According to US News & World Report, eighteen states have legalized cannabis for adult use. This includes rock-solid Conservative states such as South Dakota and Alaska.

States that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes have seen strong finances and job growth. Nevada estimates that the industry will create 41,000 more jobs and generate more than $1.7 billion in labor income, according to the 2020 Review of Marijuana’s Economic Growth. California estimates that its total labor income from marijuana sales and cultivation will top billions as state coffers overflow with revenue. In Colorado, $40 million of marijuana tax revenue went to public school construction, while $105 million went to housing programs, mental health programs, and health programs. Overall, states that have legalized marijuana are flushing in revenue to spend on their populations.

The whole country is going in that direction. The vast majority of the US population supports marijuana legalization for medical and recreational uses. Even Republican states such as Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas have widespread support for legalizing marijuana.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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