You can do a lot with 1 billion dollars. You can do even more with billions upon billions saved throughout history.
A study recently came out that found 1 billion dollars could have been saved had all U.S. states legalized marijuana – only for the year of 2014 and only calculating for some medical conditions. This money would have cushioned the already thick pockets of wealthy insurance companies, but would have trickled down to consumers through government savings.
When 1 Billion is Chump Change
How much more could potentially have been saved? If 1 billion is equated from qualifying medical conditions like anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, and sleep disorders, how many other savings could be surmounted considering other conditions receptive to cannabis? We haven’t even scratched the surface of the costs of treating cancer. There’s also evidence of cannabis alleviating Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, and the symptoms of any ailment I can think of.
Healthcare as Prevention Rather Than Prescription
Let’s take my weird old hippy dad as an example of the greater impact of cannabis culture. He’s a Howlie Hawaiian resident with 40 years of hair braided down his back and a full, long, wispy white beard. Weed is his best friend. I reckon he’s about 58 by now and has been smoking since way before I was even born. Today he’s a fit vegan grandpa who lives off solar power in the jungle. The lifestyle he lives is saving Medicaid, the for-profit insurance industry, the state of Hawaii, and the entire country money.
What does my skinny little pops over yonder have to do with Medicaid? His counter-culture cannabis way of life is contributing to lower Medicaid costs in the future. He self-medicates with marijuana and has been doing so for years, saving thousands in prescription costs and doctor visits. He exercises daily and eats a ton of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. His footprint on the environment is minimal. His health is top-notch.
Change the Way
1 billion dollars is not chump change, but it’s only a drop in the bucket of potential savings from the widespread legalization and de-commoditization of our precious plant. Cannabis will open up minds and avenues to a healthier, safer, more sustainable future for all.
To the Medicaid, for-profit insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, let weed pave the way. Like A Tribe Called Quest said, “Thank you for your service…weed [sic] got it from here.”