“The Great Colorado Weed Experiment” | by The New York Times

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Eric Timothy Carlson
Eric Timothy Carlson

Two weeks ago, The New York times wrote a strong article stating that they are confident that it’s time that the US government finally federally legalizes marijuana.  They stated their reasons for legalization and stated them powerfully.  Since that article was published they’ve had a potent series of articles details why legalization is the way forward.  This is their piece on Colorado and the experience Colorado has had with legal recreational marijuana.

Don’t forget that Colorado has made a lot of money off marijuana taxes, has had dramatic decreases in crime rates, and had the most skier visits they’ve ever had – all since legalizing marijuana.


The Great Colorado Weed Experiment

by The New York Times

In January, Colorado defied the federal government and stepped with both feet into the world of legal recreational marijuana, where no state had gone before.

For seven months Coloradans have been lawfully smoking joints and inhaling cannabis vapors, chewing marijuana-laced candies and chocolates, drinking, cooking and lotioning with products infused with cannabis oil. They are growing their own weed, making their own hash oil and stocking up at dispensaries marked with green crosses and words like “health,” “wellness” and “natural remedies.” Tourists are joining in — gawking, sampling and tripping in hotel rooms. Business is growing, taxes are flowing, cannabis entrepreneurs are building, investing and cashing in.

Cannabis sales from January through May brought the state about $23.6 million in revenue from taxes, licenses and fees. That is not a huge amount in a $24 billion budget, but it’s a lot more than zero, and it’s money that was not pocketed by the black market.

The criminal justice system is righting itself. Marijuana prosecutions are way down across the state — The Denver Post found a 77 percent drop in January from the year before. Given the immense waste, in dollars and young lives, of unjust marijuana enforcement that far too often targets black men, this may be the most hopeful trend of all.

The striking thing to a visitor is how quickly the marijuana industry has receded into normality — cannabis storefronts are plentiful in Denver, but not obtrusive, certainly not in the way liquor stores often are. Marijuana-growing operations are in unmarked warehouses on the city’s industrial edges.

The ominously predicted harms from legalization — like blight, violence, soaring addiction rates and other ills — remain imaginary worries. Burglaries and robberies in Denver, in fact, are down from a year ago. The surge of investment and of jobs in construction, tourism and other industries, on the other hand, is real.

Read the full story here:

The Great Colorado Weed Experiment

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