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In preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada in 2018, Canadian government officials have come up with an equation that represents the marijuana revenue that the country is expecting. The equation is supposed to represent the economic and social consequences of the legalization that is coming in mid-2018, and will be used to integrate revenue into the government accounts and projections in 2019.
While the Canadian government now has an equation to represent projected revenue from recreational marijuana sales, what about the costs of recreational marijuana sales? States with legal recreational marijuana have seen increases in hospitalizations, ER room visits, car accidents, and police presence. While marijuana legalization is popular at the moment, advocates of legalization don’t take into account the many expenses that come with the revenue from marijuana.
In addition to the costs that come with marijuana legalization, many of the promises that are given by marijuana legalization advocates haven’t come to fruition in the states where recreational marijuana has been legalized. Advocates promise that marijuana legalization will cause the downfall of the black market, however, in states such as California, the black market has grown larger post-legalization than before, due to the strict regulations that the state government places on legal recreational marijuana.
While the idea of increased state revenue due to recreational marijuana legalization is tempting, the reality is that while legalized marijuana does bring revenue to the state, it also brings increased costs in other areas. In order to truly understand the impacts of recreational marijuana legalization, we must weigh both sides of the equation.