20 Reasons to Legalize Adult Use of Cannabis
- It’s already here. Tens of millions of American adults use cannabis, even though it is illegal. Keeping cannabis illegal is not protecting us from anything we don’t already have. We already have all the so-called “problems” with none of the benefits of a legal, regulated business.
- Liberty and Freedom. Every American adult should have the right to decide for themselves whether to use cannabis. Our bodies, our choices.
- Cannabis Laws can be cruel. See Cruel Consequences: Portraits of Misguided Law.
- Kids don't use more when it's legal for adults. Youth use (ages 12-17) did not go up in Colorado or Washington State after legalization. Colorado was the number one state in 12-17 year old cannabis use in 2013, before legalization. By 2017 Colorado had dropped to seventh place.
- Keeping taxes and jobs in-state. Massachusetts is and New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut will collect taxes on New Yorkers buying cannabis in their states if we don’t set up our own system.
- Safety. Testing in a regulated system will protect citizens from cannabis contaminated with pesticides, mold, heavy metals, and other substances.
- Protect kids from “synthetic marijuana”. Americans in 3 states died and many others were sickened in 2018 from using “synthetic marijuana”, also called K2 or Spice. More than two dozen New Yorkers were hospitalized in one week in 2018. These poisonings might stop when marijuana is legalized.
- Shrink the illegal market. New Yorkers spend billions on cannabis every year. All of it is illegal. Wouldn't it be better to go to a regulated, legal taxed industry run by law abiding citizens?
- Common sense. Alcohol and tobacco are much more dangerous than cannabis. It is ridiculous to have the safest one illegal and the more dangerous ones illegal.
- Lose your rights. Once convicted of even a mild cannabis crime you lose many rights; may not be able to join the military, obtain financial aid or get certain jobs.
- For families. Parents are often reported to Child Protective Services for cannabis use. Many families have been torn apart because a parent used or sold cannabis. Fewer children would grow up with incarcerated parents.
- Second amendment rights. Cannabis users, medical and adult use are stripped of their second amendment rights.
- Cost of medical cannabis. Many New Yorkers use medical marijuana from unlicensed dealers because they cannot afford it through the medical program. Adult use legalization will drive down prices so New Yorkers can use the “recreational” products for their medical needs.
- For farmers. Struggling farmers in New York State will grow and sell cannabis if we allow it.
- Upstate economy. New jobs will include dispensaries, distributor networks, processors, laboratories, and more.
- For law enforcement. Legalization will free up law enforcement to go after serious crimes. Relations between law enforcement officers and cannabis users will improve.
- Harm Reduction. Acknowledging that people use cannabis now will allow physicians and other health care providers to address the issue, adopt a “harm reduction”approach, and to steer their patients toward healthier pattern of use.
- Less prisoners. Non-violent marijuana users and non-violent dealers do not belong in jail.
- Democracy. Poll after poll shows over 60% of Americans want full adult use legalization. Even a majority of Republicans want adult use legalization.
- Social / Racial reasons. In some communities arrests for cannabis offenses increases tension and disrespect for authority.
Hudson Valley NORML