On this election day, there are other things to be voted on besides our President. In Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, voters will also be voting on whether to legalize marijuana. 

Many of us will scoff this vote off as simply a stoner initiative, but there actually are greater repercussions from voting on these issues than we think. We often do not consider the life story of the illicit substances that have permeated our society, but more often than not these drugs were born south of our border and smuggled in from our Mexican neighbors thanks to the work of powerful drug cartels that earn up to $6 billion a year just from marijuana alone.

But what if the demand within the U.S was cut down? For example, recent studies show that if marijuana was legalized in Washington alone, drug cartels revenue would be cut by an astounding 23%. Cutting revenue would create more disincentive for people to get involved in the cartels and would as a result weaken the cartel’s operations.

We often don’t realize the full implications of policy changes that America makes. We are the most powerful nation in the world, so what we do at home almost always has important effects on other’s lives abroad.

Do you think legalization is a good or bad idea for America? What are other examples when our policy changes affect others abroad?