There are countless ways marijuana has helped our society. Here are five ways legal weed has surpassed even our high expectations, quieting critics.
Decrease in Medicare costs
Health Affairs reports data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 through 2013 that show costs for drugs for which marijuana is an alternative have declined drastically when medical marijuana laws were enacted. On a national scale, Medicare spending has gone down by $165.2 million per year in 2013 when medical marijuana laws were implemented.
Increased tax revenue for infrastructure and education
Colorado tax revenues totaled almost $70 million last year. Because of Colorado state law, if tax revenues surpass expectations, the state will waive taxes on recreational marijuana during a specified tax day. The revenue is enough to fix roads, aid the homeless, and provide college scholarships.
Decrease in Teen Marijuana Use
One of the biggest arguments against legalization was the risk of an increase in teen cannabis use. On the contrary, a survey from last month shows Colorado teens have reduced their marijuana use since recreational weed. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health, 21.2 percent of Colorado high school students surveyed in 2015 uses marijuana, down from 22 percent in 2011. The national average is marginally higher at 21.7 percent.
Lower overall cost of weed
One effect that many stoners can attest to is the lower price of marijuana since legalization. For example, the cost of marijuana in Washington before it was legalized came out to $400 or more per ounce ($25 or $35 per gram). Now that marijuana shortages from certified growers have gone by the wayside, the cost of marijuana has drastically dropped to around $15 per gram. The price drop continues as the Washington Liquor Control Board reports the cost in April is down to $12 per gram.
Rick Simpson Oil, A viable alternative to harmful cancer treatments
December of 1997, Rick Simpson was working in a hospital covering asbestos with duct tape using an aerosol known to cause nervous system failure. In on instance he inhaled too deeply and struck his head on a steel beam. After bouts of memory loss and wooziness from the head trauma, Simpson decided to try smoking marijuana. Naturally, it worked wonders.
In 2001, he successfully came up with a way to extract the essential oils to be taken orally. He developed skin cancer and the red spot became severely infected once it was removed. Four days after using his oil, the redness was gone and his cancer was eventually healed. Simpson gave his oil to cancer patients with some recovering to full health from stage 4 terminal cancer.