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Colorado Legalizes Marijuana. What happened 6 months later is SHOCKING!

Welcome-to-Colorado-Marijuana-Green-RushBoy time flies! It’s been 6 months since Colorado took the intelligent step to legalize a future commodity and highly medicinal plant called  Marijuana.

Since then a couple things have been reported:

1. Colorado’s cash crop is turning out to be even more profitable than the state could have hoped.

In March alone, taxed and legal recreational marijuana sales generated nearly $19 million, up from $14 million in February. The state has garnered more than $10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first four months — money that will go to public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.

According to his latest budget proposal, Gov. John Hickenlooper expects a healthy $1 billion in marijuana sales over the next fiscal year. That’s nearly $134 million in tax revenue. Sales from recreational shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is a more than 50% increase over what was originally expected.

2. Denver crime rates have suddenly fallen.

colorado-legal-pot-numbers

Image Credit: Thugs Not Drugs via Mother Jones

Marijuana-related arrests, which make up 50% of all drug-related crimes, have plummeted in Colorado, freeing up law enforcement to focus on other criminal activity. By removing marijuana penalties, the state saved somewhere between $12 million and $40 million in 2012, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 52.9% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through April 30.

As the Huffington Post notes, this is a far cry from wild-eyed claims by legalization opponents that legal weed was the devil’s work and Colorado would see a surge in crime and drug use.

“Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” said Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver in 2012.

“I think our entire state will pay the price.” Gov. Hickenlooper at one point said. “Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them”

With only a quarter of the year’s data to work from, it may be too soon to definitively attribute these changes to marijuana legalization, but the possibility of a correlative pattern is certainly worth noting.

We are witnessing the fruits of Colorado’s legal weed experiment, and those fruits are juicy indeed.

Of course, Gov. Hickenlooper has completely changed his tune, saying, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.”

With the fall of prohibition, the marijuana industry has developed rapidly, generating thousands of new jobs. It is estimated there are currently about 10,000 people directly involved with the blossoming weed industry, with up to 2,000 people having gained employment in the past few months alone.

A policy gamble that anti-marijuana activists warned would turn Denver into a drug-infested hellscape has provided the city and state with numerous benefits, and set the stage for more states and cities to follow suite.

Meanwhile, in Washington: In yet another sign that 2014 is shaping up to be the year of marijuana reform, the Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA) is waving a white flag and surrendering on a crucial policy issue that has kept legalization from gaining traction across the nation.

The DEA is now asking the Food and Drug Administration to remove marijuana from its list of the most dangerous and harmful drugs. This could signal a radical shift in the way our government regulates and enforces weed. Marijuana advocates hail the decision as a necessary policy step towards eventual legalization, removing a critical roadblock that has constrained marijuana legalization on the local and federal levels. It is, of course, the first step of many.

Then there’s the city of Washington, D.C. This November, it’s all but certain that D.C. will vote on a marijuana ballot measure and even pass it, setting up a battle with Congress to legalize. This could be the most important battle yet in the marijuana prohibition fight; D.C. is considered a staging ground for many local policies that get enacted throughout the country, and a victory for pot could open the floodgates elsewhere.

America agrees: Public opinion has never been more in favor of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. An October 2013 Gallup poll found that 58% of adults favored legalizing marijuana for adult use.

In 2013, 52% thought that marijuana should be legalized, with 45% opposed. According to Pew, this is a 13-point jump from 2010, when 41% thought it should be legalized and 52% opposed. The year 2010 was when Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana in California, was defeated with only a 53% majority. And of course, this is a dramatic swing from 1969, when nearly 8 out of 10 Americans opposed legalization.

Ending prohibition saves money. Since 1970, the government has spent $1.5 trillion on “drug control,” though addiction rates remain constant:

If you’re staring at these stark numbers and wondering why the government even bothers, you’re not alone. Wonder no more… The reason this perpetuates is because a lot of money is being made continuing to fight the war on “drugs”, which is in reality a war on people.

Six months after marijuana legalization, Colorado has basically proved decades of federal marijuana prohibition policy wrong. The times, they are a-changin’.

 
Listen to Joe Rogan as he dishes out some common sense around this topic:

Source

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Genius Awakening was created to lead people to a better understanding of self and others in order to navigate our world at a higher and more awakened level of being. Together we will explore the depths of consciousness in order to evolve beyond our current paradigms into a world of love, joy and peace. Oksana and Larry Ostrovsky are passionate guides of this space.
  • cornishfaerie

    Please, stop the sensationalism. Shocking? Really? Only someone who lives in the distant past would find it shocking. As usual I’m going to point out some ironies:
    1) You write how much money Colorado gained from it and then you also write “The reason this perpetuates is because a lot of money is being made
    continuing to fight the war on ‘drugs’, which is in reality a war on
    people.” Mind telling us who is making money? That’s right, the drug lords. And you know what else they are making? The population smaller, and considering how high it is, that is an impressive feat.
    2) The crime rate dropping being related to marijuana being legal is hysterical, especially as you’re talking Denver not even the state. But here’s the problem: your statement is a fallacy. Specifically “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” or translated: After this, therefore because of this. Sure, drugs DO affect mental state but there is so much more to it. Here, let me tackle this: “According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder
    rate has dropped 52.9% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in
    January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame
    encompassing Jan. 1 through April 30.”
    One year? Only a very naive statistician would find that of much value exactly because it is NOT valuable. Besides that, the fact you’re referring to a drug as the cause is a problem itself. Indeed, the mind is (as I’ve pointed out to you before, if I recall… I wouldn’t trust myself here without looking back, at least on certain specifics!) far more complicated than you make it seem to be. There’s also that part where the (supposed – not in fact true and even if he did say it it is false) quote of Einstein about 10% usage of the brain (hint: take two stroke patients where they have damage in different locations. Then see what different tasks they have problems doing compared to what they did before). So because although we know a lot about the brain there is much more we do NOT know. And guess what? Associating a drug becoming legal with a crime rate is a fallacy. Now if we’re talking about cutting the potency of a certain drug (e.g., alcohol) from all sources without anyone knowing, and suddenly drunk driving incidents went down, then that is more specific. But one place, one thing changed (the following truth answers it: were those who did or did not commit murder into drugs? Are they now? How can you be 100% sure the legalities changed it? You can’t? Exactly. So the logic is flawed at this point in time)? Stop lying to yourself. The only thing that can be certain at this point is that the specific crime of possessing/dealing/etc. marijuana has now dropped but that’s as easy than 0 + 0. Aside that it’ll take more time. Is there good to it? Absolutely! But this part is not so easy to measure especially in such a small time frame.
    3) Quote: “America agrees: Public opinion has never been more in favor of
    decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. An October 2013
    Gallup poll found that 58% of adults favored legalizing marijuana for
    adult use.” Which shows the idiocy indeed. For small amounts? What, you think quantity that is legal will make one ounce of different (positive difference and not talking weight)? That’s how far America has come along? Wow. Hell, although alcohol is a problem America’s drinking age (which by the way, note how much good THAT does and put that together with marijuana and my point about quantity) is higher than Europe. Yes that means some people visiting the US, coming from Europe who regularly drink (no matter how light or heavy) cannot when they visit the US (at least legally).
    4) Your use of prohibition is a bit silly. Either you’re referring to prohibiting something (general) – which you are not – or you are referring to alcohol – which again, you are not. How about legalising (British spelling) drugs? Much better that way. Otherwise you might as well ask for anarchy. And although I already brought this up, it is rather funny that you remark about how “prohibition” (as you worded it) makes a lot of money (indeed it does: for drug lords) yet at the same time write about how much money the state is making ever since an additional drug is now legal…