- Politics and Social Issues
How President Trump Can Pay for the Wall
Can Weed Pay for the Wall?
During his campaign, President trump never really mentioned his stance on the issue of marijuana. Dozens, if not more, of scientific studies of various nature have shown that marijuana is a plant of many medical benefits. It is also a plant that has nearly limitless possibilities; hemp can be used to make clothing, fuel, paper products, plastics, home uses such as insulation and hempcrete. Planted in large quantities, acres or more, hemp can absorb so much CO2 that it can begin to heal the holes in our ozone layer and produce more oxygen than trees, providing cleaner air. Cannabis oil has been shown to decrease seizure frequency, reduce tumor sizes and, in certain cases, even cure cancers. Other medical uses for cannabis include, but aren’t limited to, treating depression, anxiety, anorexia and bulimia, impotence, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, and an extensive list of more diseases and disorders. One of the most popular uses for cannabis in this generation is to treat PTSD for victims of abuses and our veterans coming home from war.
Several states have legalized cannabis for use as a recreational tool by those over the age of 21. These states have destroyed the stigma of cannabis being a dangerous drug and have squashed all assumed side effects of having a legal “drug” such as reduced crime rates, reduced the access of the product to children under the age of purchase, lower traffic accidents and fatalities, the job market has increased with a wide range of jobs no longer requiring cannabis screening in the employment process, unemployment has decreased, and tax revenue is through the roof. Colorado citizens have had to vote several times on what to do with the excess funds, including setting up a college scholarship funded entirely by cannabis sales and increase the funding to public schools from cannabis sales. The state of Colorado issued a tax refund to the citizens, to those that had and had not purchased cannabis, without the state voting on it because their revenue was so high. The other states that have had legalized cannabis for a couple of years have had similar experiences. Revenue from legal sales of marijuana will only continue to increase for all states each year.
President Trump promised his devoted fan base several key issues during his campaign, such as the repeal of Obamacare and give everyone healthcare, increase the job market in the United States, and the biggest promise was to build a wall along the Mexico/USA border. However, the wall was promised to be paid for by Mexico but he has already announced that the bill will come from the American taxpayer, which many are unhappy about considering the middle and lower classes already pay excessive taxes for our income levels. I believe that the best way we could accomplish building a wall that comes from the taxpayers and create a universal healthcare system where everybody is covered head to toe regardless of income, would be to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide. With the medical benefits of cannabis, industrial uses of hemp, increased tax revenue, instantly lower crime rates, and an immediate expansion on the American job market, there are virtually no reasons to not consider legalizing marijuana.
Taxing Legal Cannabis
If marijuana was federally legalized and taxed at, say just 30% there is virtually nothing that can stop the American economy from booming. Let's say that marijuana sells for $10 a gram. That means $3 from every gram sold would go towards bettering our country. We could divide the 30% tax revenue three ways to fund healthcare, the Wall, and schools. There are roughly 318 million people living in the United States; if half of them purchased an average of 3 grams of taxed marijuana two times a month we would have a monthly tax revenue of almost $290 million, which equals up to almost $3.4 billion a year. Now, that is an extremely low ball estimate considering Colorado in 2015 reached $1 billion in sales on their own, and their tax rate is only about 17%.
With legal cannabis, we could completely fund public schools and even make public colleges tuition free. We could create a universal healthcare system that covered every single American from head to toe and eliminate the taxes taken from our paychecks for medicare. We could fund the Wall President Trump wants to build along the Mexican border without adding an extra tax on Mexican imports for American Citizens.
Why Cannabis is Illegal
At this point in our country, the majority of people have come to realize the reasons why we do not already have federally legal cannabis. Several industries, alcohol, tobacco, private prisons, pharmaceuticals, and the timber industry, actively campaign against legalization because their profits would decline rapidly. Private prisons have cashed in on turning people with small amounts of marijuana into felons. Pharmaceutical companies pay millions of dollars each year campaigning against legalization because many prescription drugs, especially for mental illnesses, could have their uses eliminated or decreased by over 50%. People that have suffered from alcoholism and use alcohol for recreation purposes have found relief and better control over themselves in cannabis usage, dropping alcohol sales. Tobacco users have discovered that cannabis is a healthier alternative to cigarettes and can help them to quit. Our politicians having stock in the industries that campaign against legalization is also a major reason for it being illegal. They ignore the voices of their citizens and very proudly bend to the will of their campaign contributors and private donors that profit from its criminalization, even if they use or have used it themselves.
The timber industry is the original reason that cannabis was made illegal in 1937. The people that owned the timber industry knew that hemp was a much cheaper and more renewable source of pulp to make paper. Mexican immigrants began bringing their cannabis with them but called it by a different name, marihuana. Americans knew the name cannabis because it was one of the main sources of medication at the time and had been for many years but the new name frightened them. It was made illegal as a way to detain and deport Mexican immigrants. It was also smeared by the government as a substance that would make men of color violent and sexually aggressive towards white women. It was made illegal and then the ban was ruled unconstitutional, legalizing cannabis again. In the 1970's it was once again made illegal by the Controlled Substances Act, which created the scheduled drug list.