Medical cannabis and recreational cannabis are legal in more places across the nation than they have been in the last eight decades. States have taken the proper measures and listened to the people legalizing cannabis against the federal government’s will.

The government has prohibited cannabis since the late 1930s. In 1937 the United States federal government signed the MJ Tax Act, which effectively began the prohibition of this widely misunderstood plant. While the plant was not completely illegal at this time, a tax that was so high it could not be afforded was placed on it in order to work with it in any way, shape, or form.

This eventually would lead to the US federal government’s full-blown “Reefer Madness” propaganda. At the same time, they were attacking people of color and anything they didn’t like blaming cannabis; they were also making documentaries like “Hemp for Victory,” encouraging American farmers to grow cannabis for the war effort.

When cannabis legalization first started to sweep across the nation, Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, and California helped put cannabis legalization on the map. Opponents of cannabis legalization argued that it would impede on alcohol sales tax. Is that a bad thing? Is it even a thing? If it were to happen, wouldn’t it show that it is the people’s preferred choice? Or could cannabis produce more tax revenue than alcohol simply because it is the highest taxed industry in America?

Alcohol VS Cannabis

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, as of February 3rd, 2022, 37 States have laws allowing legal access to medical cannabis. Keep in mind that medical cannabis access doesn’t always mean access to all cannabis products. Some states have very limited medical cannabis laws. Eighteen states have also legalized recreational adult-use cannabis. Medical and recreational cannabis is also legal in our nation’s capital, Washington DC and in Guam.

Alcohol is legal everywhere across our country. There are some dry counties, but for the most part, you can purchase some booze just about everywhere. Most places will even give it to you in a convenient brown bag to drive off with. Alcohol prohibition didn’t work. The United States federal government prohibited Americans from selling, transporting, or manufacturing alcohol from 1920 until 1933. Once alcohol prohibition ended, it wasn’t long before they found something else to deem illegal.

Alcohol has been sold across the country since prohibition ended. According to statistics from Statista, consumer spending “shows a trend in beer, wine, and liquor store monthly retail sales in the United States from January 2017 to May 2021. In May 2021, us beer, wine, and liquor store sales were about 6.7 billion US dollars.”

In states without legal access to cannabis, alcohol sales were rather successful. As an example, according to Wisconsin Policy Forum, alcohol tax revenues surged during the pandemic. “Revenues from the state’s excise taxes on alcohol beverages Rose to 73.8 million in the 2021 physical year that ended June 30th, a 16.6 increase over the 63.3 million collected in 2020, according to preliminary data from the State Department of Revenue. These collections come from state taxes with rates that vary depending on the type of alcoholic beverage: beer, wine, hard cider, or liquor.”

Apparently, the Covid-19 pandemic was good for alcohol sales. It was also extremely good for legal cannabis sales. In fact, states that had legal access to cannabis saw the tax from cannabis sales surpass the tax collected from alcohol sales by as much as 20%. According to information from New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis industry in the United States was worth an estimated 19.5 billion dollars in 2020. In 2021 that number jumped up to around an estimated $25 billion!

Alcohol Tax VS Cannabis Tax

Taxes are collected differently on both alcohol and cannabis. A great example of cannabis tax can be found in an excerpt from the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy where they state, ” alcohol excise taxes in Colorado are 2.7 cents per shot of liquor, 1.3 cents per glass of wine, or 1 cent per pint of beer and raised a combined total of 53 million dollars last year. Colorado’s cannabis taxes are levied at higher rates per serving (a 5 mg edible might incur around $0.16 of state tax, for example) and raised $396 million.”

Alcohol tax rates are relatively low across the nation, whereas cannabis tax rates are insanely high. You would think cannabis taxes just sat around smoking all day and night as high as they are. Washington state has the highest tax coming in at 35%! To put it in retrospect, Oregon has a 17% tax, while states such as Massachusetts, Nevada, and Michigan have a tax of around 10%

Taxes collected from cannabis are doing amazing things! They are filling the holes in budgets where elected representatives have misappropriated funds for decades. Neglecting the American people in favor of fancy cars, expensive bagels, luxury clothing, and other amenities, many US politicians have left the nation’s economy in turmoil. As a last-ditch effort to cover their tracks and try to make themselves look good, many of them are turning to cannabis legalization.

The money collected from cannabis sales tax is helping states to repave their roads and improve their state infrastructure. Another portion of the cannabis tax collected goes towards education and informing the public about cannabis use. Cannabis taxes have helped fix rundown state buildings that lack the necessary funding to upkeep basic maintenance and much more.

Aging Politicians Stuck in the Past

Sadly, the United States federal government still hangs on to its outdated viewpoint on cannabis policy. A viewpoint that was developed in the 1930s during a very racist time in American history. The prohibition of cannabis was nothing more than an open door for corruption, distortion, and control of American life. For decades, the federal government in the United States has prosecuted and convicted countless citizens over simple cannabis possession. Far too many times, the simple possession ended up costing people years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

With cannabis taxes out raising alcohol tax collected in states with legal access, how much longer can the elected representatives of our nation deny the people legal access to cannabis? Contact your local politician today and let them know you support ending cannabis prohibition. Let them know if they support cannabis prohibition and continue to support anti-cannabis policy, you will do everything you can to help vote them out of office.

America deserves much better than a bunch of greedy politicians selling our country out to the highest bidder while profiting from the suffrage of the American people. Cannabis prohibition is wrong. It is time for our government to right a wrong of the past that has inflicted pain and racial disparity on our nation for far too long. End Federal cannabis prohibition and allow all Americans the freedom to access recreational and medical cannabis.

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