The negative economic effects of marijuana prohibition across society are already well-known and well-documented, so I’ll spare you having to (again) read about how much we waste on prisons and police every year. In states where marijuana is legalized, like Colorado, the economic benefits are enormous; legal weed eliminates crippling prison and court costs, and the unprecedented tax boon paves roads and improves local schools. These effects help the state as a whole, but did you know that marijuana, both legal and illegal, significantly impacts your local businesses in a positive way as well?
Despite the party’s failures, I most identify with being a Libertarian. I’m sick of an overbearing government bent on robbing us blind and stealing our liberty, so I decided to become active in politics. Over the past year, I have met over 6,000 people (please forgive me for not remembering your name!) of all shapes and sizes, and I possess a special talent (some would say a curse) for having people open up to me, and tell me things you’d never think they would tell a stranger. I am constantly blown away by the number of people that tell me they grow marijuana to supplement the income from their 9-5. Most of them you wouldn’t be able to identify in a crowd as a grower; they rarely have tie-dyed shirts, dreadlocks, or any of the other stereotypical trappings of the marijuana scene. They’re just normal people turned entrepreneurs, taking part in a lucrative and mostly unregulated market, and sharing the capitalistic ideals that this country was founded on.
Having a small or medium-sized marijuana grow in your home can provide many people with enough income to support themselves, and is often a much more attractive option than other employment options available to them. Police issues aside, home marijuana cultivation is a great option for single parents, allowing them to spend more time at home raising their children and keeping them out of trouble.
For small business owners, it often takes a few years to see a profit, and most fail long before that; it’s extremely difficult to pay your own bills with a business eating you alive as well. A supplemental marijuana grow can easily provide entrepreneurs with enough money to start their “straight” business, as well as give them the ongoing capital to keep it alive through those painful first few years. After talking to so many people across the state, and in my own community, I was shocked to find out how many business owners had a side grow for precisely those reasons, and most times I never would have suspected it!
Your local bakery, flower shop, outdoor sporting store, or lawn care service may have been made possible by home marijuana cultivation. For the good of our community, let’s help keep those businesses alive by shopping local, for both the services listed on their signage as well as those sold out the back door!