Colorado is home to more than 5.6 million people, and its territory is situated on the south-western portion of the United States. Colorado is characterized by varying landscapes, ranging from deserts to mountain ranges. The state occupies the southern half of the Rocky Mountains, and the Colorado River cuts through its territory. The state is known for its strong western identity, leaning more to a liberal lifestyle. It is also one of the first states that legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana, and the move from the state government transformed Colorado into an ideal place to trade cannabis and other related products. The state is also leading the profit earned from what was referred to as cannabis tourism.
The economy of Colorado centers around tourism, manufacturing, and real estate, among others. The state also relies on agriculture, using its fertile lands to plant different crops. The legalization of marijuana in January 2014 transformed the state into an ideal place for cannabis tourism, and it brought a lot of money to the state fund. Based on the law that legalized marijuana in the state, citizens who are at least 21 years old can grow their cannabis plants at home without any legal repercussions. They can also bring an ounce of marijuana without the fear of being apprehended by the authorities. Commercial establishments that sell marijuana started to flourish all over the state, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue.
The drastic changes in the economic performance of the state is a clear proof showing that lifting the prohibition on cannabis poses an advantage towards the state government, and we are forever thankful to those who have voted for the decision, as we are currently benefiting from the industry. Marijuana has been cultivated in the region long before the prohibition in the early 1900s. However, the state decided to restrict the use of the plant and banned it in 1917. Thousands of individuals were arrested for decades because of the possession and sale of the drug, and in the 1970s decade, a deputy district attorney for the Pitkin County called for the decriminalization of all offenses related to marijuana possession and sale.
Jay Moore, the deputy district attorney, argued that if Colorado would continue prosecuting people who possess and sell marijuana, the state fund will suffer as the government would have to spend money and waste it for enforcing the law that does not really suppress the trade. In the year 2000, 54% of the voters from Colorado amended the State Constitution, allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. There has been an extensive study proving that cannabis can treat a lot of diseases and disorders, and it can be a wondrous alternative medicine. Right after the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, many derivative products that are branded as therapeutic started to flood the market, and the trade started to rise. On January 2014, the state finally legalized the sale and possession of marijuana.
The immediate effects of the legalization of marijuana in the state would be the influx of tourists who are visiting Colorado to buy cannabis and enjoy the atmosphere. There are regulations on how much each individual should consume, and police are deployed across the state to monitor the flow of people who are coming in and out of the border. The consumption of marijuana is similar to that of alcohol, and establishments selling the product experienced massive growth as their sales reached record-breaking numbers. These establishments specializing in the sale of marijuana-related products are being regulated by the government, and they are also bound to follow certain rules to avoid conflict with the laws.
The legalization of marijuana is widely supported by the majority of the state’s population, and five years after its legalization, around 43% to 54% of the population are saying that that legalization is fine and they are supportive of it. There is a higher percentage of people who wanted marijuana to be used only in private establishments and prohibit it in public places like bars and clubs. By the end of 2014, the state of Colorado reported that the total sales generated from the legalization of marijuana reached $700 million. In 2017, marijuana sales in the state reached $1.5 billion, with more than two-thirds of the sales generated from recreational use of the plant.
The rising number of people who are visiting the state to buy marijuana impacted the local economy in a positive way. Aside from the profit collected by the government, many people in the state managed to get a job because of the opening of many establishments that offer marijuana and other related products. Many people also opened new businesses, contributing greatly to the economy of the state. The state also had an efficient tax collecting system, allowing them to collect a huge amount of money from businesses that recently opened. The legalization of marijuana brought in a lot of positive changes in the economic sector of Colorado and the state government only had to spend $25 million to legalize the cannabis plant.
The useless apprehension in the past cost the state a lot of money, and it is wasted in law enforcement. With the legalization of marijuana, the state of Colorado is now earning millions of dollars in revenue every year. The state government is using the money collected from the marijuana trade to strengthen the state of healthcare, as well as provide additional benefits to its citizens. Marijuana’s prohibition in the past might have been a political move to suppress the people from using the plant that has a lot of health benefits, but because of the advancements in science and technology, it is now proven that the cannabis plant is a wondrous alternative to treat a range of diseases. Based on clinical studies, using it medically would alleviate many diseases and disorders, and the decision of Colorado to legalize it allowed the citizens to get a chance of experiencing the natural health benefits of using the plant. Colorado’s economic future is now secure, thanks to marijuana.