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Here’s What Colorado Looks Like 6 Months into Marijuana Legalization


colorado marijuana retail legal recreational stores rulesby Sabrina Fendrick

July 1st 2014 marked the 6 month anniversary of the launch of Colorado’s great social experiment – the legalization and regulation of marijuana for all adults age 21 and over.  News coverage of the state’s highly scrutinized, yet burgeoning retail cannabis industry has been lukewarm, but a review of the last six months shows that (although inconclusive in its early stages) this policy has not only failed to cause the reefer madness social breakdown predicted by prohibitionists, it appears that this new industry is starting to positively impact the state and its communities.

Colorado is projected to save tens of millions of dollars in law enforcement expenses this year.  Job opportunities continue to open up and revenue is expected grow at an unprecedented rate – a significant portion of which has already been allocated to public schools and education programs.

 Below are five positive social and economic developments that can be attributed to Colorado’s 6-month old retail cannabis market:

$69,527,760 in retail marijuana pot sales.

10,000 people working in the marijuana industry(1,000-2,000 gaining employment in last few months)

– 5.2% decrease in violent crime in the city of Denver.

– No Colorado stores found selling to minors.

$10.8 million in tax revenue (not including licensing fees)


All in all, these first few months have shown in practice that the benefits of legalization significantly outweigh those of prohibition, both morally and economically.   One can’t deny that there will be bumps in the road.   As this new market continues to evolve we should be prepared for the emergence of new, unanticipated issues.  However, one can be comforted in the fact that any rising concerns are being addressed and rectified in a responsible and expeditious manner – both on the part of lawmakers and industry leaders.  As Colorado moves forward, and more states begin to implement similar policies, the politicians and the population will see that this is the right policy for our children, our economy and our society.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. ted mishler on

    well, i moved here and i no longer feel blue
    beside cannabis, there really is so much to do
    and there are plenty of jobs to be found
    that is why i am toked up and NOT wearing a frown
    So excuse me whilst i umm, keep doing what comes naturally
    toking up, loving life and the spiritual world, and studying my apogee :-)

  2. This is just information from one state, imagine the effects on the entire U.S.. All of the ignorant Prohibitionist need to think I know this will piss someone off. But guess wht Jesus problely smoked canabis. Look it up. Plus legalization does not hurt you. Guess what marajuana is not about religion.it is about freedom of choice to choose what an individual wants to use for recreation or medicine. What is it is about Prohibitionist telling others how to think, act, or tell people that your beliefs are more important than another. I hate brining religion into this but being most Prohibitionist hides behind religion and use religion for their own gain. Guess what your not fooling anyone. Legalize it.

  3. I’m very pleased about how well things are going in Colorado. We all know, with certainty, that the prohibitionists and rehabitionists are watching Colorado like hawks, waiting for something to go wrong — anything. The devil always lies unless the truth hurts you worse. Thankfully, the Information Age has left very little room for lies. Only the willfully ignorant and the hopelessly naïve buy into propaganda and misinformation, these days. That’s why the enemies of cannabis law reform *want* Colorado’s legalization efforts to fail.

    They *want* underage use to go up.
    They *want* stoned drivers causing mayhem on the road.
    They *want* backdoor deals and shady bookkeeping.
    They *want* violent crimes to increase.

    DO NOT GIVE THEM THE SATISFACTION. Show Chicken Little that the sky in Colorado has not fallen.

    I’ve never understood how people persist with attitudes like that — hoping and praying for bad things to happen so that they can point a finger at someone/something they don’t like. Honestly, that sounds like a diagnostic symptom for sociopaths. Some folks seek out tragedy and reach for ways to blame it on the things (the people) they hate, even to the point of absurdity.

    This is not new territory. Cannabis opponents try to convince people cannabis causes testicular cancer and “man-boobs” every ten years, or so. They try to convince people that cannabis causes Schizophrenia. They try to convince people that cannabis makes your IQ lower. They try to co-opt words like “overdose” (used to describe FATAL toxicity) to apply to cannabis. They’ve tried dozens of other ridiculous tactics. They throw everything at the wall to see what sticks, hoping a large enough pile of garbage will occlude our view of the truth.

    The only way to beat them is to keep the industry honest and 100% above-board. Actions speak louder than words, after all. And if cannabis opponents have taught us ONE lesson over the years, it’s that talk is cheap. The time has come to prove who was right and who was wrong, and that can only be accomplished by DOING it.

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