Legal Marijuana’s Social Impact On Colorado, by Nicholas Colas

How is the Rocky Mountain High state doing with legalized weed? From Nicholas Colas at

Legal Marijuana’s Social Impact on Colorado

Summary: Believe it or not, there was no change in the number of marijuana users in Colorado between 2014 and 2015 after legalization of the sale of recreational cannabis went into effect. At least that’s what Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Advisory Committee reported in their latest research on the effects of marijuana on public health. They also found that calls to poison centers for exposure to marijuana and emergency room visits continue to fall. The State Department of Public Safety also reported that the number of marijuana arrests nearly halved, down by 46% between 2012 and 2014. Moreover, Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and the legal marijuana industry has certainly helped by adding 18,000 new full-time jobs in 2015 according to the Marijuana Policy Group. Perhaps the most significant benefit to the state is tax receipts, as Colorado received $198.5 million in tax revenue last year from marijuana sales of $1.3 billion. Bottom line, retail marijuana legalization has had its fair share of pros and cons in Colorado, but it’s not been nearly as bad as critics had forecast.

Note from Nick: Jessica’s note about the legal pot business get a lot of attention and comments from readers and today she looks at the social impact of legalization on the state of Colorado. With other states – most notably California – voting to legalize marijuana, this will become a national issue in coming years. Read on for the details.

We’ve written several notes about the success of legal recreational marijuana businesses in Colorado over the past few years, but our most frequently asked question is: what are the social costs? Many people have heartbreaking stories about the effects drugs have had on their loved ones and with one in five Americans now living in a state where retail cannabis is legal, it’s important to understand the social side of the business as well.

To continue reading: Legal Marijuana’s Social Impact On Colorado


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