...the United States might solve their economic woes by legalizing marijuana.
We would save a huge amount of money by no longer fighting marijuana use/cultivation/possession/sale in the war on drugs, and could focus on fighting drugs that are truly a danger to society, like meth and heroin.
By legalizing marijuana, the criminal element that is making money off of it now would have to go legit, or would lose their income. Look what happened to those who made money off of illegal liquor once Prohibition was repealed. Marijuana use could be regulated the same as alcohol use -- must be over 21, can't work or drive under the influence, etc. And think of the tax revenues the government would rake in.
Hemp is an excellent crop for paper, fuel, cloth, and medicinal uses.
We already know marijuana has valid medical benefits for treating glaucoma, and for easing nausea and lack of appetite for chemo and AIDS patients. If the Federal Government would stop trying to suppress it, pharmaceutical companies could make a lot of money processing it in non-smokable form, and could likely find other medicinal uses -- perhaps treating anorexia, unipolar depression, anger management issues, and other problems.
Our society has been fighting cigarette smoking, and all of the health issues caused or aggravated by it -- cancer, emphysema, COPD, heart disease. If tobacco companies phased out tobacco production, and started growing and processing marijuana instead, they could use the same land, same factories and workers, and probably much of the same equipment. Smoking marijuana is still inhaling smoke and there are health risks, but at least it could be processed and packaged as a natural product without all of the chemicals and additives in cigarettes -- and again, it could be processed in a non-smokable form.