“Colorado made history in November 2012 when voters passed Amendment 64, making it one of the first two states to approve legal regulation for the cultivation, sale and use of medical and recreational marijuana to adults aged 21 and over. Since the amendment went into effect on January 1 of this year, the Centennial State has become a proving ground demonstrating the positive impact of regulation over prohibition.
Despite the warnings and hysteria from opponents to legalization, Colorado hasn’t descended into lawlessness and disorder. In fact, many conditions seem to be improving in the state, with crime rates down and a sound economy to boot.
While it’s still too early to declare with certainty any definitive social trends, here are six things that we’ve learned from Colorado since they legalized recreational weed:
1. Crime Has Decreased
According to data from Uniform Crime Reporting for Denver, there has been a 10.1% drop in overall crime from this time last year, and a 5.2% decrease in violent crime.
2. Tax Revenue Has Increased
In the first four months of legalization alone, the state garnered over $10 million in taxes from recreational sales. The first 40 million of these tax revenue dollars have been earmarked for public schools and infrastructure.
3. New Jobs Have Been Created
The marijuana industry developed quickly, and many jobs have been generated along with it. The Marijuana Industry Group estimates that there about 10,000 people directly involved with the weed industry, with upwards of 2,000 people gaining employment in the past few months alone….”