Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado Colorado is one of the first two states in the U.S. to legalize marijuana. The legalization indicated a momentous shift in drug policy in the state, and nationally as well, since the federal government has yet to seek to override Colorado’s violation of federal drug policy. Beforehand, there were many predictions made on the economic and social impacts of the legalization if it occurred, and to date, many have not come true. Of course, with such a small data set to work with, and only a couple years of information so far, it is unwise to make broad generalizations about the effects of the drug being legal, as enjoyable as making those assertions may be for some people. Nonetheless, some data is in, and these paint a preliminary picture of post-legalization Colorado. In the preceding years, when ferocious battles were waged over the wisdom of legalization, both in direct conversations and of course, on the internet, marijuana proponents made boasts about what a major positive impact on government budgets making pot legal would have. To people familiar with economics, basic math and tax policy, these arguments seemed very weak, and that is exactly what they have been proven to be in the first years of Colorado’s new drug era. Taxing a popular consumed item, whether it is hamburgers, alcohol or marijuana is never going to solve any budget dilemma. Budgets are based on foundations of taxing all property and/or all sales and/or all
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A controversial topic often being advocated for by sitting governors is whether the legalization of marijuana is more beneficial or harmful to the economy. Marijuana, also known as weed, is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. It’s the most widely used illegal drug in the United States, even though studies have shown results that the benefits of using marijuana for medicinal or recreational reasons far outweigh the negative matters that may be associated with its use. While marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law, thirteen U.S. states currently have compassionate use laws in place, which allow for regulated medical marijuana use. By legalizing marijuana, the government is helping the economy by reaping medical and financial benefits, not only at the state level, but also at the federal level. Taking into account the numerous studies done with marijuana on whether it is for recreational use or medical purposes, the government cannot go wrong in legalizing marijuana because of such an impact it will have. Marijuana should be legalized for recreational purposes because it will help society economically and socially.
This paper will look at the benefits and drawbacks to legalizing marijuana by looking in at Colorado.The state made forty million dollars by taxed marijuana in 2014 alone, also Colorado saved countless millions because of the extremely lower amounts of marijuana arrest and court cases. It is not clear how having new recreational marijuana stores opening will affect the cannabis market, or businesses expanding around them. Gov. John Hickenlooper says that the economy is thriving with record setting numbers of tourists (73.1 million). 49 percent of those tourist said that legal marijuana influenced their decisions to vacation in Colorado. The ER’s in Colorado have also seen a rise in numbers of marijuana related cases and those cases in non-residents have almost doubled. An unexpected situation that arose from legal cannabis was the amount of electricity that is being use to grow the drug. Some cannabusinesses have to go green with solar or wind power. There are many varying views on the effects of legal marijuana have developed in Colorado since marijuana became legal in 2014.
The topic of legalizing recreational marijuana in the United States has been a very controversial one. States such as Colorado and Washington have gone on the offensive and have legalized recreational marijuana and have enjoyed the high revenues brought in from cannabis sale. On the other hand other states have kept low profiles because they are wary of the possible negative outcomes of legalizing recreational marijuana and are using the states of Colorado and Washington as guinea pigs to see what their next course of action on this controversial topic should be. This is not only a highly debated topic among politicians, but also by the people. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center 52% of Americans
The legalization of marijuana will lead to a boost to the economy. With the United States being trillions in debt, an increase in tax money would be a big help to lower the national debt. Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal uses, is showing valuable data of an increase in tax money, “In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medicinal and recreational marijuana. Sales totaled over $996 million” (Krishna, Mrinalini). Now, Colorado is joined by seven other states, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, in the full legalization of marijuana. With these states joining with Colorado, the United States is seeing sales “[grow] by 30%, to 6.1 billion, in 2016 and a projected 20.1 billion in 2021” (Krishna, Mrinalini). With that in mind, these sales are shared among only eight states, add another forty-two states and the rates could surpass the trillions. Considering the evidence, the act of not legalizing marijuana would be foolish.
The legalization of marijuana has been a topic of debate for many years. This may be because of the cultural diversity that the United States of America is known for. Recently, bills were passed in Colorado and Washington to implement the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana use. These events along with the ever growing popularity of the drug in society, media, and entertainment are proving to be more than anti-marijuana advocates can handle. In this paper, I explore the financial, social, medical, and political benefits of legalizing marijuana.
How has the legalization of marijuana affected Colorado? The state has seen some pretty significant changes since the legalization of recreational marijuana. There have been major changes in the economy, job market, and traffic related injuries, but not all of these changes have been negative. There is a split in the public opinion about recreational marijuana use and if the state has benefited since its legalization. Some people think that the state is suffering and have been fighting to repeal the law since it was voted into place. Others have devoted all their money and time into the flourishing business and would be devastated if the law was repealed.
Medical marijuana, like alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs, is significantly taxed, which generates governmental funding. Although the state of Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana as well as for medical purposes, a Time magazine article in September of 2015 reported that the collected taxes for the drug, in the prior fiscal year, more than doubled expectations, fetching more than $70 million for public coffers (Basu, 2015). Additionally, the previously-expended public funds saved by no longer policing the possession and use of marijuana have freed government currency to be used elsewhere. According to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the decriminalization of marijuana saved the state between $12 million and $40 million in 2013 (Way, 2013) It is indisputable that the legalization of medical marijuana, coupled with the decriminalization of recreational marijuana, would produce an almost immediate significant economic advantage for public
The MMJ revolution is slowly spreading across the US. Twenty-five states have now voted to follow Colorado. When MMJ (Medical Marijuana) approval occurred in Colorado, it was a shock to the state government. The MMJ initiative labeled as Amendment 20, and approved in November of 2000. This coined the name 420, and Colorado celebrates this in April of every year. This law successfully legalized illness specific quantities of medical marijuana for patients and their primary caregivers. In 2012, the voters successfully voted on Amendment 64 to allow retail shops. The retail shops are rare in Southern Colorado, with only one in Manitou Springs, a few in Pueblo, and many more stores in Denver. Seventeen years later, it is a thriving business, despite
Another man, a resident from Georgia, who suffers from anxiety and alcoholism decided to make his stay permanent after realizing the constant marijuana use was able to help him stop his bad drinking habit. Accompanied by his son from North Carolina, who has previously been an illegal recreational user, is happy that his habits can now continue guilt free. Another source reported that Colorado has welcomed 36,284 people who have migrated from within the US in 2013 (source). That is 8,000 more people than 2012 due to the “go West” mentality of marijuana enthusiasts (source). If Colorado’s predictions are correct, they will receive an extra $100 million in revenue due to marijuana sales (Dickinson & Haglage). This money can be used for beautification, safety improvements, schooling resources and many other positive things that will make living in Colorado even more appealing.
There has been major news forming around the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Medical marijuana has been effective in Colorado since 2000. Now marijuana is legal for recreational use for people 21 and up. Many rules and regulations follow the legalization of marijuana. Many people of Colorado fear this legalization, where others are totally for it and think it will help boost Colorado’s economy. I have found many
Marijuana is a controversial substance. It is considered a schedule 1 drug by the DEA but it is still legalized in 4 states for recreational purpose which include Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon. Laws against the use, possession and cultivation of this plant are different in different parts of the world. People have been debating about its advantages and its disadvantages for many years. There are a lot of myths about marijuana and very few seem to be true. Most of the people know very less about this so they tend to go with all the ideas that the society has about it. It has a potential to play a significant role in the economic development of a country and lower the crime rates.
Table 1, shown above, displays excise and sales tax revenues in Colorado during 2014, 2015 and estimated values for 2020, with regards to the different sources of taxation. The projected values for 2020 where estimated by the Marijuana Policy Group, the policy and economic consulting firm responsible for key roles in many Marijuana related national policies across the United States. As can be seen, excise and sales tax revenues for Marijuana exceeded those of Alcohol in Colorado during 2015 by almost 3 fold. They have surpassed the gaming and casino industry and only fall second to the tobacco tax revenues. This is the results of two components simultaneously at play, the first being an increase in demand and the second being a shift in sales and demand from the untaxed black market towards the regulated and taxed official retail market (Light, Orens, Rowberry and Saloga 11). The projections from table 1 show that by 2020 Marijuana could even potentially dethrone Cigarettes as the most lucrative source of excise and sales tax revenue in Colorado, due to the
Legalize, control, and discourage is a way to fix the problem. Evident by Colorado and Washington, “the legalization of marijuana can stop most of these possession arrests” (Levine). After the first opening of the first retail marijuana stores on January 1, 2014, Colorado had decreased crime rates, decreased traffic fatalities and increase in economic output (DPA). Since 2010, the marijuana possession arrest have went down 84% since its legalization. The tactic of legalizing, controlling, and discouraging has been proposed by the Economist, a weekly news magazine, in the late 80’s.
The legalization of marijuana in the United States remains a major issue and has caused much controversy due to opposing views. With the economy being in the state that it is, we need to utilize all available resources and set aside personal emotion regarding “smoking weed”. While some support decriminalization, there are many reasons why other individuals, including the government, do not. From a utilitarian point view, legalizing marijuana will produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people affected by the choice (Mosser, 2010, sect. 1.7) Misleading perception and harmful effects influence the decision of marijuana remaining illegal. But, the best way to control its use is to legalize it for its positive effects on the environment, medical uses, and revenue it generates for the government; therefore, producing the best results for the greatest number of people.