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How Legalizing Cannabis Impacts Non-Consumers

Here's why the effects that legalization has on those that don’t consume cannabis are similarly beneficial.

The effects that legalizing cannabis has on its consumers are well-documented and overwhelmingly positive: dramatic reductions in life-altering arrests, eliminating interactions with the black market, increased quality control, to name a few. Putting these significant improvements in quality of life for consumers aside, the effects that legalization has on those that don’t consume cannabis are similarly beneficial.

Here’s what experts in the cannabis industry have to say on how legalization impacts non-consumers:

“Recreational cannabis sales have generated more than half a billion dollars for Colorado since its legalization and about half of that money has been used to fund K-12 education. Cannabis legalization in Colorado is literally helping build new schools and tens of millions of dollars are going straight to the state’s school-building fund. None of this would be possible without legalization and, whether you’re a cannabis consumer or not, I’d like to think that we can all agree that building newer, better schools is a decisively positive outcome of cannabis legalization.”

— Jeremy Jacobs, Co-Founder & CEO of Eyechronic, a dispensary technology company that provides advertising and tools to the cannabis industry

“We believe that cannabis legalization leads to more people living more truthful, authentic lives. Which means they’re no longer afraid to talk to their family or physicians about their consumption. North America is coming to terms with cannabis, what it is and what it is not, this leads to de-stigmatization which contributes to reducing harm and associated costs.”

Derek Riedle, Founder and Publisher of Civilized, a media company that speaks to motivated, productive adults who choose to enjoy cannabis as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, but don’t define themselves by it

“Aside from the increase in tax revenue for the state and local cities, and the reduction in incarceration and the costs associated, I think the biggest impact will be getting rid of the stigma associated with cannabis and giving more examples to the public of all the benefits of this great plant.”

Jesse Henry, Executive Director of Barbary Coast, an SF-based medical cannabis dispensary collective with a vaporizing and smoking lounge to maximize safety and comfort to patients

“States with legal adult use cannabis sales report a decrease in alcohol sales. According to the CDC, alcohol kills about 88,000 Americans per year and about 6 per day of those are from acute intoxication. Marijuana has been shown to be about 100 times safer than alcohol and a potential “reverse gateway” drug for alcoholism and opiate addiction. So, in states where cannabis is legal and easily accessible to adults, you might expect to see a decrease in alcohol related deaths and crimes like drunk driving, assault and battery etc. Cannabis has also been shown to be a neuroprotectant and may aid in healing the physical damage resulting from alcohol abuse.”

— Allison Ireton, Legal Counsel for Bloom City Club, the first and only female-owned and operated dispensary in Michigan. Bloom offers organic, pesticide-free, high-quality cannabis, produced exclusively by members of their collective of caregivers

“One of the most positive economic and societal impacts of legalizing cannabis would be to reduce the burden on the U.S. Justice System from incarcerating thousands of people a year, saving expenditures that can add up to billions of dollars spent annually. In the event of Federal legalization, the US government would be able to reallocate those funds to more pressing needs and public projects. Finally, the best benefit is the results of more people leading productive lives, fewer broken homes and more people working in the U.S. economy, which boosts State and federal tax coffers even further.”

— Leslie Bocskor, President of Electrum Partners, an advisory services firm specializing in medical and recreational cannabis and ancillary businesses

“Cannabis legalization will have tremendous positive impact on the public at large, regardless of who is consuming. The medical findings that further research will allow will have a tremendous effect on healthcare as a whole. The increased tax revenues that the industry brings will have wide-ranging impacts across communities–from improved schools to better mental health options. Perhaps most importantly though is the social justice reform that comes with cannabis legalization, as current cannabis arrest rates disproportionately impact minorities at an incredible rate.”

— Jeffrey Zucker, Co-Founder and President of Green Lion Partners, a Denver-based business strategy firm focused on early stage development amongst firms in the cannabis industry

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