While President Obama and Mitt Romney argue over who will create more jobs as President – a futile exercise in itself since the government cannot “create” lasting, private sector jobs – it’s important for those of us living in the real world to discuss things that will actually create jobs.

The long-running TV News Magazine 60 Minutes examined Colorado’s medical marijuana program this weekend, the most extensively regulated medical marijuana program in the country, to see about the possible economic impact of legalization. In the beginning reporter Steve Kroft mentions that Denver has 204 MMJ dispensaries, roughly three times the amount of Starbucks and McDonald’s in the city combined. This statistic alone shows the popularity of medical marijuana; after all, lots of people love coffee and hamburgers, and Starbucks and McDonalds are multi-billion dollar corporations that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. alone.

Now imagine adding recreational legalization on top of the medical. How many pot-related shops would Denver have then to supply recreational users? Another 100? 200?  And don’t these shops need people to work in them? People to grow marijuana and service customers? Then add on the increased business for security companies, construction and remodeling companies, the companies that make pipes and bongs and vaporizers and papers and more. And this is just in one city. Multiply this effect across the entire country when legalization is finally a reality.

If talking about jobs actually made them a reality, then unemployment would be 0%. There have to be policies in place that allow the private sector the freedom to create jobs. One of those policies would be marijuana legalization, so the money that currently goes to drug dealers goes to taxes and toward job creation.

The time for talk is over. Politicians have to do what is needed to get this economy back on track, or they need to get out of the way and leave it to people who know how things work in the real world.

Joe Klare

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About The Author

Joe Klare has been writing about marijuana issues for the past 5 years online, in print and on air.

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