Legal Weed Boosts Economy And Job Creation While Reducing Harmful Substance Use, New Study Finds

Making recreational cannabis legal is associated with economic improvements and more job opportunities while reducing harmful substance use, a new study has found.

This study is the first of its kind to examine the impacts of recreational cannabis laws on employment, wages, and labour market outcomes for working-age individuals. 

Using data from 2002-2020, researchers found that there’s little evidence to show recreational cannabis laws negatively affect labour market outcomes for most working-age individuals.  

In fact, they found a “modest increases” in employment and wages, especially among those over the age of 30, younger racial/ethnic minorities and those working within the agricultural sector. 

Results of the study, conducted by researchers at San Diego State University and Bentley University, is published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Decrease in opioid and heavy alcohol use 

The benefits of legal cannabis don’t seem to stop at job opportunities. 

According to the study, legal access to cannabis can also discourage people from using other, more harmful substances, such as opioids or excessive alcohol, which can negatively impact productivity. 

Additionally, if cannabis is effective in improving physical or psychological health symptoms, this could lead to “positive labour market spillovers.” 

Furthermore, legal cannabis reduces criminalisation of possession, which allows for better labour market outcomes, especially for young Black and Hispanic men who have disproportionately been affected by limited job opportunities due to having a criminal record. 

The future of the legal cannabis industry is uncertain, as the researchers noted. While there was an initial spike in cannabis sales during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales later declined dramatically.  

Despite this unpredictability, the researchers emphasised that their findings provide valuable insight into the economic effects of recreational cannabis legalisation. 

More potential benefits of legal weed in the UK

As well as an economic boost, a legal adult use recreational cannabis market in the UK could potentially bring a number of other benefits, including:

  • Increased tax revenue: The sale of cannabis products in a regulated market could generate significant tax revenue for the government.
  • Reduced crime: A legal market would likely reduce the black market for cannabis and the associated criminal activity.
  • Public health benefits: Regulating cannabis would allow for quality control and could reduce the use of more dangerous drugs such as opioids.
  • Increased medical access: Legalising cannabis would make it easier for patients to access medical cannabis, which could help them manage a variety of conditions.

While it’s important to note that the benefits of a legal adult use recreational cannabis market are still under research, it would appear that negative consequences such as increased usage, addiction, and impaired driving.

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One Comment on “Legal Weed Boosts Economy And Job Creation While Reducing Harmful Substance Use, New Study Finds”

  1. I feel like most of this would be a given. It’s crazy the amount of money the government would rake in if they just legalised weed and most likely taxed it. UK parliament truly is filled with a bunch of twats.

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