Legalizing marijuana will boost state revenue without sacrificing public safety.
The move to legalize marijuana first gained an overwhelming amount of support when its obvious medical use and benefits became evident to the masses. There are a vast amount of reports and studies which state that marijuana is highly effective in treating a number of ailments, and it can make a highly effected replacement for numerous types of medication, many of which having various nasty side effects. Thus, its medical use must be one strong reason for the pros of legalizing weed.
Cannabis is a highly popular substance that many people consume on a regular basis. Legalizing cannabis will give these people, most of which are law abiding, hard working individuals, a place to safely buy cannabis. It also means that what is being sold is regulated, safe, and not mixed with any other nasty substances.
When marijuana is illegal, officers are within their right to question and detain people in possession of the drug. This means a lot of police time is spent pursuing, questioning and arresting citizens due to possession and/or consumption of cannabis. Legalization will free up officers’ time to pursue more worthwhile cases. Additionally, making marijuana legal will reduce our prison population and prevent entry into the criminal justice system for a large segment of nonviolent, productive members of society.
Legalization of marijuana means that the hemp industry will be allowed to flourish. Hemp can be utilized for products such as paper, clothing, plastics, fuel and food, and many other products that can be made from hemp. On top of that, hemp plants grow very quickly (especially when compared to the trees we are cutting down to make paper), with no need for herbicides in most environments. The power of hemp is truly astonishing.
When thinking of the pros of legalizing marijuana, this one can’t be ignored. If cannabis is sold and regulated by the state, then all cannabis sales will likely be taxed. This new and highly profitable taxable substance can potentially provide a much needed boost to the economy.
Many large, illegal cannabis operations are run by gangs and cartels, who often also participate in other unlawful activities (including the sale of much more dangerous substances like crystal methamphetamine). As long as the cannabis is illegal, the illegal cannabis market is allowed to flourish. Legalizing cannabis will take money spent on the drug from the wrong hands.
Although the production, use and sale of cannabis have been prohibited, the amount of users has shown no decrease, the amount of support for legalization has shown no decrease (in fact the opposite is true), and the amount of damming evidence against marijuana has shown no increase. This clearly shows that prohibition has been ineffective.
2017 Bills We Support
SB 814 / HB 251: Authorizes the counties to adopt ordinances to legalize marijuana cultivation, possession, sale, transfer, and use, for persons over the age of twenty-one. Clarifies that penal code provisions pertaining to drug and intoxicating compounds offenses do not apply to counties that have adopted ordinances legalizing marijuana and adopted administrative rules to regulate marijuana. Testify on this measure. Testify on this measure.
SB 548: Legalizes the personal use, possession, and sale of marijuana in a specified quantity. Requires licensing to operate marijuana establishments. Subjects marijuana establishments to excise taxes and income taxes. Testify on this measure.
HB 1464: Authorizes persons 21 years of age or older to consume or possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. Provides for and requires the licensing of marijuana cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, safety testing facilities, and retail stores. Subjects marijuana establishments to excise taxes and income taxes. Testify on this measure.
HB 170 / SB 120: Requires the Department of Public Safety to reassess the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug under state law and to report its findings to the Legislature. Testify on this measure.
HB 449: Legalizes under state law the growing, processing, possession, transfer, and personal use of marijuana in a specified quantity to persons at least twenty-one years of age. Requires licensing to operate marijuana establishments. Specifies the application and non-application of the Internal Revenue Code to expenses related to the production and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for state income tax purposes. Specifies that amounts received for the sale of marijuana or marijuana products are not exempt from the state general excise tax. Establishes a tax on the sale of marijuana, marijuana products, and manufactured marijuana products. Establishes an education special fund, into which marijuana tax revenues are to be deposited. Testify on this measure.
HB 836: Authorizes the interisland transportation of marijuana by medicinal marijuana patients and primary caregivers. Authorizes certified laboratories to test marijuana received from patients and primary caregivers. Requires DOT to adopt rules regarding interisland transportation of marijuana. Effective 7/1/2017. Testify on this measure.
HB 1010: Makes it unlawful for any employer to suspend, discharge, or discriminate against any of the employer's employees based on the individual's status as a registered qualifying patient under the Medical Use of Marijuana Law or an employee's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites if the employee is a registered qualifying patient under certain conditions. Testify on this measure.
HB 1360: Expands the range of manufactured medical marijuana products that may be produced and sold to include certain edible products. Authorizes eight companies to partner with medical marijuana dispensaries to produce manufactured marijuana products, subject to certain conditions. Establishes requirements for manufacturing, handling, and packaging manufactured marijuana products. Testify on this measure.
HB 251: Authorizes the counties to adopt ordinances to legalize marijuana cultivation, possession, sale, transfer, and use, for persons over the age of twenty-one. Clarifies that penal code provisions pertaining to drug and intoxicating compounds offenses do not apply to counties that have adopted ordinances legalizing marijuana and adopted administrative rules to regulate marijuana. Testify on this measure.