The first year of legalization of recreational marijuana was sweeping success for Colorado. The first years returns are incredibly compelling and great victory for the people of Colorado.
Technology is also changing as fast as the law, changing the way people use the plant, in much the same way that vape pens have changed the way traditional smokers get their nicotine.
Colorado has collected about 76 million in marijuana revenue in 2014. The taxes on medical marijuana, which has been legal since 2000, were also tallied in the 76 million. Most of this money went to new school construction. The revenue started slow but picked up more and more throughout the year. Some think that this was a benefit from being the first to legalize and getting “marijuana tourism”.
These tax revenue numbers (above) are very enticing for other state governments and governments around the world to adopt similar legislation themselves. 23 states now have some sort of legal medical marijuana. The Arizona law known as the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act is modeled after the framework set by the Colorado law. Advocates for the new law being voted on in Arizona believe that the tax could bring $40 million dollars to the education budget and more to the enforcement of state regulation, similar to what has been see in Colorado.
Last November Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia legalized the drug for recreational purposes. Advocates for legalization are also expecting a big 2016. Arizona, Maine, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada at minimum could all take a vote on some sort of bill relating the plant. These kind of votes stir opinions and passions on all sides of the debate. Even president Obama talks about the issue.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington, through state referendum, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana," Obama said in an interview at marijuana.com. "The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this." Polls have consistently shown that the majority of voters want marijuana to be regulated similar to the way alcohol is handled and only 27% opposed to any sort of legalization.
There is plenty of pressure to have the federal government reclassify marijuana as it is currently scheduled by the DEA as having no medical benefits which research (as well as the opinion of many state governments and voters) has shown to not be the case.Many medical patients are looking for treatment for themselves or their children. People are moving to states where marijuana is available seeking alternative means of treatment. Marijuana has been proven to shrink tumors, according to the American Association for Cancer Research, and also stop seizures from occurring so frequently as well has reduce pain and lessen the effects of some mental and nerve disorders.
With the new regulations in Colorado, new technology is changing the way patients get treatment. Most of the bad effects from smoking any leaf, be it tobacco or otherwise, come from the combustion burning the leaf releasing all sorts of toxins, carbonyls and tar which cause the negative health effects. For instance, when a smoker quits using traditional tobacco and starts using devices such as e-cigarettes, she immediately begins to reduce the health impacts from tar and the other carcinogens from the smoke. Long term, such as the period of 5 to 10 years most of the health risks from smoking are brought back in line with a person who does not smoke.
A year later and the sky isn’t falling like proponents to the bill wanted you to believe. The number of drug related crimes dropped why?. There wasn’t a jump of teen pot users possible statistic or a quote from somebody about gateway drugs or something could be good since the opposition is about the lack of responsibility among the general populace. There also wasn’t a spike in driving while intoxicated related accidents either. Cnn even produced a video of driving while high showing that the effects of marijuana aren't even as impairing as a couple of drinks during the height of the debate a few years ago. Other than a couple cases of over indulging (which in most cases was do to unclear packaging) there have been few health scare incidents associated with the changes in the law.. The positives seem to far outweigh the negative of this law.
According to Denvergov.org burglaries went down from 5,094 in 2013 to 4,594 in 2014. Armed robberies, that were reported, also decreased from 1,137 in 2013 to 1,099 in 2014. Burglaries at marijuana facilities also dropped from 147 to 118 over the two year period. Armed robberies of marijuana facilities stayed the same with four in each year. Possession charges also dropped from 667 to 351. Public consumption/intoxication however jumped from 184 to 1,186
"We found there hasn't been much of a change of anything ... Basically, officers aren't seeing much of a change in how they do police work." That's what an unnamed Denver police officer told CBC's Reg Sherren, who traveled to Colorado to assess how marijuana legalization had impacted the state in the one year since it was legalized.
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The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/advocates-say-marijuana-legalization-in-arizona-could-generate-40-million-a-year-for-schools_55d62f66e4b07addcb460f1e
Rasmussen Reports: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_state_surveys/colorado/61_in_colorado_favor_legalizing_regulating_marijuana
Science Daily: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/03/15/marijuana-vaporizing-gains/6042675/