Marijuana legalization is spreading all across the United States, but the drug is still illegal at the federal level. Senator Cory Booker recently proposed a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide while also encouraging states to legalize locally through incentives. The states that have legalized marijuana have had positive experiences since regulating and taxing the drug, but legalizing cannabis at the federal level will certainly have its fair share of pros and cons for both producers and consumers.
First, the reason why Booker proposed this bill, is because federal legalization will reduce incarceration of minorities, “You see these marijuana arrests happening so much in our country, targeting certain communities — poor communities, minority communities — targeting people with an illness.” Under Booker’s bill, those aggravated by these disproportionate arrests could sue. With fewer marijuana arrests as a result of federal marijuana legalization, the nation would also waste less money on jails, so the government could use that money to help elsewhere. Many marijuana farmers fear federal legalization though, because it will reduce the quality of their flower as bigger corporations enter the market. This may be especially difficult for the local economies that rely on these marijuana farms, proving that federal legalization will both help and hinder many.