As the world’s socio-economic experts have long agreed: The time and the place for cannabis legalization is fast approaching.
Not only are we, as Americans, growing culturally indifferent to the plant’s use as a society, but this has allowed for science to truly shine. Researchers have been able to create any number of medicinal compounds with the plant, with the benefits outweighing the potentials problems by a long shot.
Now, as we are able to get a hardy grasp on the issues facing our national security, particularly as it pertains to our southern border, number crunchers have begun to realize something incredible; legalizing marijuana has benefits for border security as well.
“State-level marijuana legalization has significantly undercut marijuana smuggling,” David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at Cato, wrote in the paper, published last week. “Based on Border Patrol seizures, smuggling has fallen 78 percent over just a five-year period. Because marijuana was the primary drug smuggled between ports of entry, where Border Patrol surveils, the value of the agency’s seizures overall — on a per-agent basis — has declined 70 percent.”
Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis in 2012, with legal sales starting in 2014, and more states have gotten on board each election cycle since. There are now ten states that have ended marijuana prohibition, with several more expected to do so in 2019 and 2020.
The idea of national legalization has been suddenly popular among lawmakers as well.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) picked up on the idea in a congressional hearing last week, urging Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen to acknowledge that ending federal marijuana prohibition would make her and her agents’ jobs easier.Advertisement - story continues below
“Some think that state-based marijuana is a gateway drug and makes people want illicit products more,” he said, “but the people who’ve looked at your agency—and you’ve got this very difficult job—are saying that if states have the ability to innovate and make legal, high-quality medical cannabis available to people, then we’re not going to have as difficult a job for you and your border patrol agents and for the people who live across our border.”
And while this next bit may be a bit on the nose, the massive tax revenue that federally legal marijuana sales would generate would easily surpass $5 billion in a just a few years, fulling funding the proposed border wall that has our government currently shut down.