Six months ago, Colorado put its hugely historic marijuana legalization policy in place. Since that time, two very significant events have occurred.
#1 – Legal Marijuana in Colorado Has Turned Out To Be Even More Profitable Than Forecasted:
– In March 2014 alone, legal marijuana in Colorado pulled in $19 million in taxes. In February, they made $14 million in taxes from legal marijuana.
– Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper, stated in his latest budget proposal that he expects legal marijuana sales in Colorado to exceed $1 billion in the next fiscal year.
– Sales from recreational marijuana shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is more than a 50% increase above what was originally expected.
#2 = Crime Rates in Denver, CO Have Dropped Dramatically
– Murder rates in the Denver city and county have dropped 53% since recreational marijuana was legalized in January 2014 compared to the same time last year: January 1st through April 30th.
– Marijuana related arrests in Colorado usually make up 50% of all drug related crimes. Marijuana related crimes have dropped dramatically allowing police to focus on other crimes.
– Removing marijuana penalties has already saved Colorado somewhere between $12 and $40 million in 2012 alone according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
– Initially, most organizations felt that crime would rise with legal marijuana. They were all very very wrong.
“Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere.” – Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said in 2012.
“I think our entire state will pay the price. Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them.” – Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper
Here is Governor Hickenlooper’s latest quote about legal marijuana in Colorado. He’s coming around:
“While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.” – Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper
Marijuana has created 12,000 jobs in Colorado.
Since 1970, the USA has spent over $1.5 trillion on “drug control.” Studies has shown that despite this money spent and this action by the USA, drug addiction rates have remained unchanged.
Colorado is showing us all that legalization of marijuana is most likely a good thing. It is still early in the game; recreational marijuana has only been legal in Colorado since January 2014. Nevertheless, things are looking good for Colorado and the Mile High City as they walk hand in hand with marijuana and the money it makes them and the crime it dissolves.