Right now in Florida, marijuana is not legal for recreational use. However, that could be changing soon. The state is struggling to balance its budget, so officials are starting to look into methods to bring in more revenue.
One of those options is to legalize and tax marijuana. It’s already known that doing this is a quick way for states to make money. While medical marijuana has already boosted the economy slightly, opening up use to all adults could be a major change for the industry and state.
Legalizing marijuana would prevent arrests
Each year, thousands of people are arrested and charged for drug crimes related to marijuana. Florida has strong anti-marijuana laws, and having 20 grams or less comes with a year in prison, a fine of $1,000 and a misdemeanor conviction. Many of the state laws include mandatory minimum sentences, which makes it even more difficult for those caught with marijuana.
While some argue that marijuana is a gateway drug, that theory has largely been debunked. Now, some proponents are calling it the “off ramp” drug, because it could help people with chronic pain avoid opioid use, which has led to the opioid crisis around the country today. Unlike opioids, it’s not possible to overdose on marijuana or die from taking too much.
Approximately 68% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, both for adult and medical use. Making it legal could earn the state between $100 and $300 million in tax revenue, which is what the state is looking for.
In the meantime, it remains illegal. If you’re caught with marijuana, remember that you do need to fight back against the charges or you could face serious penalties.