I’ve recently been working on a project involving SEO for a website that deals with products related to marijuana. We don’t touch the stuff, so what an eye opener it’s been to see the popularity surrounding this topic. There is an entire industry dedicated to growing and using marijuana and I didn’t even realize it. Naturally I began to consider the whole debate about the legalization of pot and what it would do to our culture, not to mention our economy.

Alcohol has been a legal substance in our society for decades. However, finding real economic data on how alcohol impacts the economy is quite a challenge. What we do know is that alcohol is related to many deaths.  One source I found, claims alcohol is related to almost 6% of deaths world wide.  If that’s accurate, it’s a high number.  But how many people make their living from alcohol?  The beer , wince, and spirits industries are huge!  My point is, alcohol is legal and if used responsibly, is deemed safe for our society.  Why then is a popular recreational drug like marijuana not legal (for recreational use) in most of the US?

When considering the economic implications, one must think beyond the substance itself and consider related products.  For example, grow lights. (Check out this website reviewing and selling LED grow lights.)  Since 2015, the sales of these lights has increased by 50% and is expected to double by 2020 in the state of California (California Legalization of Recreational Marijuana to Benefit LED Grow Light Industry). This is just one industry impacted and there are undoubtedly countless others.

I suppose I’m still not exactly sure where I stand on the whole issue of marijuana laws.  I’m not a user myself, but not so naive as to think that I won’t be affected by the inevitable changes on the horizon.  I just can’t quite figure out whether the impact will be positive or negative. Whether legal or illegal, there will continue to be a whole lot of marijuana users, that we know for sure.