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Trump Will Cripple States If He Reverses Marijuana Legalization

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Trump Will Cripple States If He Reverses Marijuana Legalization

Comentary by Jesse Ventura | cnbc.com

    • If President Donald Trump reverses state laws legalizing marijuana, he could cripple if not bankrupt those states.
    • This action could cause yet another economic collapse.
    • When we the people vote to legalize something, we legalize it. The president doesn’t have the power to overturn our votes.
    • Our faltering economy needs the American cannabis industry to continue to grow and succeed.

Last month I gave the keynote address at the Cannabis World Congress Business Expo in New York City. CWCBExpo is the trade show for the cannabis industry. I had the pleasure of meeting thousands of like-minded cannabis activists, and the experience was truly refreshing and inspiring on many levels.

I learned firsthand that those in the legal cannabis industry — whether they’re growing hemp, medical marijuana or recreational marijuana in Colorado or California or Oregon or wherever — have formed a united front. Everyone at the convention was looking to work together to come up with solutions on how to get the federal government to move forward and embrace this industry, which has grown exponentially.

When it comes to economics, let me put the state of marijuana to you in this way: If Trump reverses state law, he’ll be crippling if not bankrupting the states that have legalized marijuana. Not only will this action go against the will of the people who voted for legalized marijuana, this action will cause yet another economic collapse. And no, that isn’t an exaggeration.

Over half of the states have now legalized marijuana in some way and multiple states are receiving millions, soon to be billions, in tax revenue from this industry. When those states no longer have this tax revenue coming in (tax revenue that is projected to increase steadily each year), where will that money come from?

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Think about it this way: The auto industry was bailed out with roughly $80 billion from taxpayer money, but it is still here, and the industry was able to repay taxpayers overtime. We’re talking about making a profitable, multibillion-dollar industry go away overnight. Meaning America’s president will voluntarily make hundreds of thousands of Americans unemployed overnight. How many will default on their mortgages? How many will declare personal bankruptcy?

A report by New Frontier Data states the marijuana industry is projected to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020 — that’s more jobs than the manufacturing industry, utilities, or government jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prior to the 2016 election, the marijuana industry, which existed in 25 states at the time, was worth a combined $7.2 billion. Now, this industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17 percent, with medical marijuana sales growing from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020. Adult recreational sales (recreational use is only available in eight states) are expected to go from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020.

“[I]f Trump reverses state law, he’ll be crippling if not bankrupting the states that have legalized marijuana. Not only will this action go against the will of the people who voted for legalized marijuana, this action will cause yet another economic collapse.”

Colorado alone has a $1.3 billion marijuana industry and much of the tax money is going toward scholarships so students can go to community colleges for free. This isn’t “found money” either. Before marijuana was legal, this money was going to the black market, to the drug cartels. Now it’s being used to fund college scholarships. Let that sink in for a minute. In the Denver metro area, marijuana tax dollars are being used for infrastructure. Imagine that. We don’t need to rely on false presidential promises to fix our local roads and bridges. The town of Edgewater is spending $1.4 million in marijuana tax revenue to repave streets and replace their city hall with a new building that includes a police station and library.

My point is this: When an entire industry is taken away from states like ColoradoCaliforniaOregonWashington and so on, how does President Trump expect our nation to recover? It is estimated that California will take in $1 billion from marijuana sales tax once dispensaries start selling recreational marijuana in 2018. The cannabis industry is an industry that is bringing back American farms — which means rural areas which have been struggling finally have the chance to thrive — not just through marijuana but through hemp farming. And don’t forget: this is an industry that relies solely on an American work force. The cannabis industry is all-American and comprised of American entrepreneurs, employees, and customers. There’s no way to outsource labor to other countries. And unlike all those infuriating stereotypes, this is an industry of educated and informed individuals.

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