Marijuana has been legal in Colorado since September 9, 2013, making it possible for people to go into a dispensary and purchase retail marijuana without any kind of prescription. Now, almost 3 years later, it is important to look at the different pros and cons behind the legalization.
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has helped to improve the economy. Throughout the creation of various dispensaries, it has also brought in many more jobs. This includes security teams, marketing teams, packaging, and more. It has created a huge boost to the economy, providing benefits for many people who didn’t even realize that there was a place for them, including plumbers and HVAC.
Colorado made money off of the recreational marijuana, bringing in approximately $44 million in taxes. However, the estimate was off by approximately $30 million from the original budget.
Real estate has been changing for the positive as well, including increased commercial property sales. The marijuana industry has generally chosen underutilized commercial and industrial warehouses, due to their low expense which as a result has made these property values go up.
It has been a struggle to establish a brand-new industry in terms of regulation and enforcement. The co-founder of SMART Colorado, Gina Carbone, has spoken about the heavy costs involved with establishing the new industry.
There has also been the aspect that marijuana is a cash business due to banks being federal institutions and since pot is still federally illegal, marijuana businesses cannot be conducted through a federally insured institution. As a result of it being a cash business, it has also increased crime in some areas.
Marco Vasquez, the Chief of Erie, Colorado has identified various law enforcement issues. This includes being able to identify medicated drivers, as well as keeping marijuana from leaving the state. Crime has gone up, but he cannot link it to the legalization of marijuana.
There has also been concern as to how easy it is for kids to get access to marijuana. Edible products, such as candy bars and gummies with pot inside need to have specific packaging. There has to be some kind of identifier so that it looks different.
Marijuana is legal in Colorado, whether people are happy about it or not. Some people believe it is the best thing that has happened to the economy while others are concerned that it is causing various legal issues. Many states have been looking to Colorado to figure out what the issues are so that they can get them under control prior to legalizing in their own states. So far, there haven’t been any widespread or disastrous impacts through the legalization of marijuana. It hasn’t changed the day-to-day lives of most residents, which is one of the most important aspects to look at.