Recently has been the five-year anniversary of the legalization of recreational pot use in Colorado. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. However, Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational use of pot in 2014.
Tourists who have recently visited Colorado have stated they experienced a new and overwhelming smell from large marijuana farms, and the daily use of citizens smoking it in public. It fills nearly every street corner. People have even said they could smell it driving on the highways. People have been complaining about this new agricultural smell, and that is not the only thing they have been upset about.
Citizens have been complaining about the growth of homelessness rate that ranks among some of the highest in this country. Colorado has multiple homeless shelters spread out across the state causing the homeless to feel like they can spend all their money on pot, and still have a roof over their head. Other problems of pot being such an accessible drug has led to a big increase in car related deaths due to being high. There has also been an increase in schools with underage kids being caught using the substance in schools, bringing a high alert to the school industries across the state.
With that being said, Colorado has experienced plenty of positive effects from the legalization of weed. Colorado’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country’s at just 2.3 percent With the job industry booming, it made the state excel in revenue by creating thousands of jobs. Last year the state took away $198.5 million dollars of $1.3 billion in tax revenue from the pot industry. Colorado has even experienced a decrease in crime rate. The state has had a 10 percent decrease in violent crimes and an 8.9 reduction in property crime. There are multiple positive effects from the pot industry, leading Colorado to a bright future.
Colorado is in a much better state of prosperity since they have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. The positives currently are outweighing the negative factors, and the economic/societal trend will only grow from here. There has been no research to say otherwise. It is evident that other states are starting to realize how big of a positive effect it has had on Colorado’s economy. Multiple states have legalized medical marijuana and some states like California are legalizing recreational use in 2018. Soon every state will legalize recreational pot.