There are many good arguments for ending Cannabis Prohibition. Even those who do not smoke Cannabis can still benefit from legalization for one simple reason: money.
The Money In Idaho's Economy Is Vanishing
Cannabis Prohibition in Idaho is causing a huge amount of damage to our state's local economy. Why? Because prohibition forces Idahoans to drive over the border into our surrounding states to purchase their Cannabis.
And I mean it makes sense.
If you're going to buy Cannabis, would you rather buy it legally from across the border, or would you rather buy it from a drug dealer in Idaho who might also try and sell you some Meth/Cocaine?
But because of Cannabis Prohibition states like Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are being pumped with millions dollars from Idaho residents; Once that money leaves, it's no longer circulating in the Idaho economy.
Green Majority estimates that this is happening at a rate of at least $5,000,000 - $10,000,000 a month based on sales data from dispensaries close to Idaho's border. If Idaho doesn't end prohibition, we are looking at losing over $1 billion dollars over the next 10 years from Idaho's economy.
We NEED The Tax Revenue To Rebuild Idaho
The states that have legalized Cannabis such as Oregon, Washington, and Colorado have all seen exponential growth in their state's economies since they legalized Cannabis. Last year, Colorado raked in $70 million in tax revenue just from cannabis, almost double the amount that alcohol sales brought into the state. Oregon collected about $25.5 million just in the first six months of 2016. Washington state has brought in more than $350 million in taxes since cannabis was legalized in 2014.
When Idaho is firing teachers due to budget cuts, keeping Cannabis illegal and allowing the tax revenue to leave the state is simply not an option.
We could use this money to fix our schools, and ensure that they have the resources needed to properly educate Idaho's children. We could also use this money to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Instead of contributing to the growing revenue of other states, we should be working to improve conditions for people here in Idaho.
Trying To Stop Idahoans From Buying Cannabis Will Increase Money To Mexican Drug Cartels Instead
There's no realistic way for Idaho State Police to stop Idaho residents from crossing the border into Oregon, Washington, and now Nevada to get their Cannabis; there's just not enough man power and it would be extremely expensive. Not to mention a violation of the fourth amendment to set up checkpoints all around the Idaho border.
But if such a law were implemented, meaning people were no longer to get their Cannabis from a legal dispensary, then Idahoans would still procure their Cannabis through other methods. This would just mean that the money that should be spent on Idaho's schools & infrastructure, would go to the drug cartels in Mexico.
I don't know about you, but I would rather that money be invested into our future.
Lawmakers who continue to argue for prohibition do so on the basis of benefiting Idaho's children and Idaho families. You know what benefits Idaho's children & families?
Jobs. Schools. Roads. Infrastructure.
When Cannabis is illegal, it just means that Idaho taxes you more in order to balance their budget from lost tax revenue on Cannabis & the ridiculous cost of policing a non violent population.
If you enjoyed this article & want Medical Cannabis legalized in Idaho, please consider volunteering or donating to fund signatures. We only need 47,000 signatures for the petition to get on the ballot. If it passes, Butch Otter or whoever replaces him can't veto it.