Initial Data (And Common Sense) Is In: MJ Legalization = Positive
Despite some who have a biased, uninformed or simply out of touch view on marijuana reform, the US is finally moving forward with the logical step of legalization. We already know from historic experience that prohibition just doesn’t work.
And anyway, marijuana is less harmful to your body than alcohol, it accounts for a large % of our non-violent citizens being incarcerated (likely breeding some amount of violence in the process) and keeping it illegal encourages crime.
So it was great to see some initial data come in on our first market to pave the way for a future growth area of our economy through legalization. After 6 months of MJ sales, we’re already seeing some very positive trends emerge in Colorado. Via DrugPolicy.org:
- According to Uniform Crime Reporting data for Denver, there has been a 10.1% decrease in overall crime from this time last year and a 5.2% drop in violent crime.
- The state has garnered over 10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first 4 months. The first 40 million of this tax revenue is earmarked for public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.
- There are renewed efforts to study the medical efficacy of marijuana within the state, making Colorado an epicenter for marijuana research.
- The marijuana industry has developed quickly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with this industry, with 1,000 to 2,000 gaining employment in the past few months alone.
- Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, recently compared Colorado’s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.” For example, the demand for commercial real estate has increased drastically, with houses in the state appreciating up to 8.7 percent in the past year alone.
- The voters of Colorado retain an overall positive view of the regulated marijuana market, with 54% of Colorado voters still supporting marijuana legalization and regulation, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
- By removing criminal penalties for certain marijuana-related offenses, thousands of individuals will avoid the collateral consequences associated with a criminal record. The state is estimated to potentially save $12-40 million over the span of a year simply by ending arrests for marijuana possession.
Not to mention the benefits globally: many marijuana-industry company stocks (not just those selling weed, but companies who supply equipment to growers, packaging-related technologies, etc) on the OTC market have seen explosive growth (investors: see a list of some of the brands here) and ventures in the space continue heating up.
Logic, health science, economic indicators and common sense all dictate a global freedom for marijuana use. It’s just a matter of time before those still brainwashed by reefer madness or clinging to irrelevant, misinformed belief systems are sent into the history books along with those who supported the prohibition of alcohol.
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