With Colorado marching into their first full year after legalizing marijuana, many people are curious about how it's going. Marijuana shops are popping up all over the state, sales are increasing, and the state is claiming a huge revenue.
Most residents don't feel much has changed, and everything seems pretty much the same as before, now it's become just normal! One of the obvious changes showed that possession charges in 2014 fell well below 2,500 compared to 30,000 charges in 2010.
Actually, over the past 2 years, reports have shown a 40% decrease in all drug arrests around the state. Again, this is due, in part, to the legalization of marijuana. Colorado has strictly regulated both medicinal marijuana, and now recreational marijuana. The same guidelines that were set down for medicinal marijuana are now in place for recreational use. The Colorado Department of Revenue has tweaked the regulations and taxes for retail sales. In this one year alone, Colorado has brought in an astonishing 40 million dollars from marijuana taxes.
It should be no surprise that Colorado is one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. Unemployment is lower than the state has seen in seven years. They are also drawing the attention of major businesses, including Google, who is planning to open an art facility in Boulder. I'd say, Colorado is not suffering at all!
So, Where Will the Revenue Go?
Colorado plans to use the bulk of their revenue for prevention of marijuana use and mental health issues among children and teenagers. They have already seen an impressive decline in the use of marijuana among kids.
Marijuana and Driving:
The state has also experienced an all-time low in traffic fatalities. All reports are not in yet as to whether or not people are being more responsible when smoking, and choosing not to drive or not. Marijuana has been removed from law enforcement's main focus, so there's very little activity in that field.
I think many states have been watching Colorado to see if there would be complications due to legalizing this drug. Many anti-marijuana followers believed kids would be smoking marijuana, and not getting an education. They also imagined that traffic violations would be on the rise, and overall everything would go to specific place in a hand basket!
Instead, everything seems to going quite well and running on an even keel, so not much is going on in Colorado that wasn't going on before. Leaders in Colorado are taking their positions seriously, and working to prevent any health problems, and deter any harmful marijuana effects.
The state needed to form good rules and regulations in a rather short period of time, and there were many who thought they put the cart before the horse. As of now, they seem to be doing a really good job, and have increased the state's revenue by a landslide!
With these findings, the probability of more states jumping on the band wagon is expected to happen. Some states will be taking a closer look at Washington State to see how things are working out for them as well.
With these findings, and the increase of immense revenue, there are many states that could see job increases, excellent revenues, and the capability of turning their own state around.