The monetary growth of the cannabis industry is affecting every market imaginable, from general product marketing to Medicaid. The estimation of mary jane sales exceeded 5.4 billion during the 2016 fiscal year and is expected to top 19 billion annually by 2020. It’s no surprise then that one of the biggest arguments for legalization is the “green rush” coming along with it. Let’s face it, money is a huge driving force behind legalization.
Medicaid & Cannabis
The growing benefits of medicinal and recreational marijuana far exceed any potential harms. For example, people suffering from serious illness have experienced significant relief. Cancer patients find they have more of an appetite through difficult treatments and non-psychoactive CBD oil is shown to kill cancer cells. Surprisingly, these huge reasons for legalization are among the few.
As a result, more people are turning to medicinal marijuana to treat their ailments. More specifically, some medications have had a decrease in use. These include anti-anxieties, anti-nausea, and opioids. Pharmaceutical companies gain so much power and money from the legal pills on the market.
Some lobbyists do not want cannabis legalized because they believe they will lose money. On the contrary, if marijuana was federally legalized they could save billions. With these numbers seen across the board, it’s a wonder weed isn’t legal yet.
What do the numbers say?
Let’s look at one of the first states to legalize recreational weed. In the fiscal year 2015-2016, Colorado collected over ninety-seven million dollars in marijuana taxes, licenses, and fees. In February 2017, Colorado state collected over seventeen million. Above all, this is five million dollars more compared to the same month in 2016. One thing is certain, the marijuana industry is growing in more ways than one.
Moreover, the numbers do not lie when looking at the profitable gain of cannabis. These numbers support the reasons we have come so far with recreational and medicinal use. The federal government appears to be taking their time with policies. Unfortunately, opposing opinions continue to thrive within the political climate.
The Argument for Federal Legalization
Medicaid’s health insurance covers many populations in need. For example, children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and the blind. Recent research found a link between legalization and a decrease in prescribed medications. States with legal cannabis even have lower rates of hospitalization for opioid overdoses. Marijuana is being utilized as a treatment for opioid addiction. As a matter of fact, an LA rehab facility is testing this method.
With so much to gain, it perplexes cannabis supporters as to why those in power have yet to legalize this remedy. Ultimately, cannabis can potentially save Medicaid over one billion dollars. With the threat of cuts to Medicaid constantly plaguing the insured, the government should turn toward alternative medicine. Lawmakers can rest assure they will not lose money. More than likely, those in power will stay in power and will find ways to make more money than they currently do. Keeping weed illegal does not make sense in all areas.
The Final Hit
Weed not only makes you feel a little happier and less stressed, but the benefits on a macro level show the big picture. Shedding the light on all the positive outcomes can and will move us closer to the end goal. Outdated federal laws not only continue to support prohibition. These laws keep health insurance programs like Medicaid from saving more money. Fortunately, good old bud will continue to see a rise in profits. It is just a matter of time before more of the big leagues hop in on the green rush.