Here’s the lawless hellscape Colorado has become six months after legalizing weed:
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.
By removing marijuana penalties, the state is estimated to save somewhere between $12 million and $40 million, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
According to government data, the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 42.1% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. This is compared to the same period last year, a time frame encompassing Jan. 1 through May 31. Violent crime in general is down almost 2%, and major property crimes are down 11.5% compared to the same period in 2013.
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.