11 Oct What If Colorado Legalizes Marijuana?
Medical use of marijuana is already legal in Colorado, and a few other states within the Union. Today, permits are available for those who wish to grow cannabis for the purposes of supplying medical marijuana outlets. Now, amendment 64 is on the ballot and if it passes could make it legal for Colorado adults to use the drug apart from any medical need. What could happen if Colorado actually legalizes marijuana use for everyone?
Right now amendment 64 is showing a 47-38 favorable poll rating according to one online newspaper. Just 15 percent of Colorado citizens say they remain undecided on the issue. Amendment 64 would make it legal for adults to grow, possess, share and use as much as one ounce of marijuana. By 2013 or 2014 legal sales of the drug would be likely.
Advocates for legalizing marijuana say that doing so would have a tremendous impact in the African American community. Today, African American males are disproportionately incarcerated for drug use. This comes at a cost of roughly $27,000 per inmate per year to the taxpayer. It also negatively impacts each prisoner’s ability to gain meaningful employment for years to come.
Doctors disagree about whether or not marijuana has medical value. President Obama’s administration appears to have moved away from that argument as well as the phrase ‘war on drugs’ and is pushing instead for a greater emphasis on drug prevention and treatment programs. But what would the Federal government do if Colorado legalizes marijuana?
Those in favor say that Colorado stands to gain $14 million a year in new tax revenue if marijuana sales are given the go-ahead. The state could save another $12 million per year in law enforcement expenses. In strictly monetary terms, the move has great appeal. But all states already benefit from sales of alcohol and tobacco and one could easily argue that the other costs incurred by those substances are almost incalculable.
What will happen if Colorado passes amendment 64 …can anyone accurately calculate that?
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