Among the biggest myths from marijuana opponents are their false claims that marijuana legalization harms teenagers and has absolutely no benefits for society.
Hydroponics nutrients pioneer Michael Straumietis recently appeared on a nationally-broadcast political debate program and totally trashed those lies.
Straumietis, the founder and owner of hydroponics nutrients manufacturer Advanced Nutrients, appeared on a popular Newsmax Network show hosted by former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth.
Hayworth is no friend of marijuana, but Straumietis had the facts on his side.
He pointed out that legalized marijuana tax revenues in Colorado are generating millions of dollars mandated to go directly to improving Colorado public schools.
Marijuana tax revenues fund school building improvement projects and the hiring of more school nurses and counselors, he notes.
“Colorado marijuana legalization tax revenues were at least $6 million in just the first months of 2014,” Straumietis explains. “At the same time, studies show teen and children drug use rates actually decrease in legalized marijuana states. Cannabis legalization is a totally win-win situation for schools, families, and communities.”
Straumietis says legal recreational and medical marijuana cultivation is a multi-billion dollar a year industry providing clean, green jobs for tens of thousands of Americans.
“When people grow and provide marijuana, they’re part of a vast set of industries including hydroponics manufacturers, hydroponics stores, marijuana dispensaries, marijuana researchers, and other cannabis-related employment,” he says. “These companies and people generate employment, taxes, medicine, and other benefits. They’re taxpayers, good citizens, moms and dads, valuable members of their communities.”
Straumietis also points out a report generated by Nobel Prize-winning economists stating that if marijuana was legalized, taxed, and regulated, taxes on cannabis along with savings on drug war expenses would amount to $10-14 billion per year.
“Marijuana legalization is good for society,” Straumietis says. “If Maine legalized cannabis, they’d get $36 million per year in marijuana tax revenues. Rhode Island would get at least $22 million per year. Maryland would get $135 million in tax revenues per year if it fully legalized marijuana.”
Straumietis was asked on the show if the cost to society of legalizing marijuana outweighs the benefits.
The questioner was specifically referring to alleged potential harms from people driving while high on marijuana, and other increased negative societal effects from “drug use.”
Straumietis responded that anyone who drives poorly and intoxicated should be subject to law enforcement and punishment, but pointed to statistics showing marijuana legalization doesn’t result in more intoxication-related traffic accidents or more drug addiction.
“In fact, where marijuana is legalized, abuse and overdoses related to OxyContin and other opioids go down,” Straumietis says. “Marijuana is a safer and more effective medicine than pharmaceutical medicines, and it helps people avoid or get off of opioids.”
Appearing on a political talk show is nothing new for Straumietis, who’s also running a very public political and social campaign to get rid of the corrupt government in Bulgaria where Advanced Nutrients has research facilities.
“Many people in the North American hydroponics industry have long been scared and silent, but I’m looking to change that,” Straumietis says. “It’s time we all acknowledge the marijuana community is winning hearts and minds because the cannabis plant is a blessing, and that’s going to lead to the end of the war on marijuana!”