Kris Krane wrote an interesting article this week for Forbes suggesting that legalizing cannabis is the key to our economy recovering from the fallout of COVID-19. Like all of his other articles for Forbes, it is well researched and well written. The article largely draws on a comparison of how ending the prohibition of alcohol helped the United States recover from the Great Depression.
Some of his statistics and juxtaposition are eye-popping. For example, Krane points out that the cannabis industry currently employs almost 250,000 full-time jobs, which is more than four times the number of coal industry workers in the U.S. and approximately the same number of jobs lost due to the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. Further, the article cites a recent study (subscription required) by New Frontier Data that estimates federal legalization could result in 1.6 million new jobs, as well as $128.8 billion in tax revenue. Those new jobs would be a welcome relief for the nearly 36 million Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits over the past two months.
While we are not optimistic about the chances of federal legalization in the next 12 months, the article makes a compelling case for why “ending marijuana prohibition should be an important and prominent part of our country’s political agenda.”
Please check out our blog for continued updates on developments affecting the cannabis industry, as well as episode 12 of the Joint Status Report if you’d like to hear our interview with Kris Krane. Also, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.