Early last year, Colorado’s governor signed a historic law which regulates the growth, sale and use of marijuana within the state. Several other pieces of legislation signed which also help to define and regulate the marijuana industry in Colorado. Colorado voters passed the cannabis legalization law with a majority of 55 percent. The law, known as the Regulate Marijuana Life Alcohol Act has been a success, resulting in new cash flow for the state. Many retail sites have opened, with entrepreneurs doing what they have for centuries – making a profit.
Even Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper may be jumping on the bandwagon. Initially opposed to the new law, although he did sign it, the Governor recently stated that the risks of allowing people to grow, sell, and consume pot have not been as bad as first feared. In reality, most people who smoked before it was legal are still the ones smoking it now. This means there will probably not be more drugged people driving or drinking and creating chaos. Instead, the new legislation provides for a system where the state is regulating and taxing a commodity and the money realized stays within the state of Colorado.
Indeed, the Governor seems cautiously optimistic and has a good reason. While it has been legal to possess and consume marijuana in Colorado since late 2012, now people who are 21 and older can walk into a store and legally purchase their stash. Specialty retailers have popped up all over the state selling bags of buds, marijuana-infused snacks, and vape pens loaded with cannabis oil. These products have been available to people with a doctor’s prescription for several years, but now anyone of the right age has access. Even with this ease of purchase, the sky has not fallen on the citizens of Colorado.
The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division released a report stating that legalization did not have much of an impact on cannabis consumption. The authors note that while reported use did increase between 2002 and 2010, the numbers followed a national trend. Consumption in Colorado decreased after 2010, even though use continued to rise in the east of the country. Something that should be noted when considering that Colorado’s medical marijuana use began to grow in 2009.
It is also surprising to note that marijuana use in Colorado was less frequent during this at this time compared to the rest of the country. Research studies indicated that 12 percent of Coloradans, who were age 21 or older used marijuana in the past year. Compared to 16 percent, which is the national average. However, among these past-year users, they were more likely to use daily. More than 23 percent of Coloradans reports using marijuana between 26 and 31 times a month which is less than the national rate of 17 percent.
Two primary benefits of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado have increased tax money and law enforcement savings. New retailers are paying into the tax system and police focus in other areas. These are both providing the state with much-needed additional funding.
There is a lot of benefit to Colorado. When considering Colorado, please check out some of the following for more information.