Colorado is the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, so it is no surprise that all eyes are on the state, looking to uncover both the positive and negative implications of life after prohibition. While there are concerns about the danger of edibles, driving under the influence, and the potential long-term consequences of legalization, others are interested in the positive changes, including tax revenues and fewer violent crimes.
Our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys are interested in the developments related to marijuana law, medical marijuana law, and legalization nationwide. In addition to representing and helping local clients in marijuana-related questions and disputes, we are also committed to raising awareness about marijuana policy and lifestyle.
In a recent Atlantic Monthly report, an investigative journalist spent time with the locals to determine whose life has changed since recreational pot was legalized.
Here are some of the highlights:
An entirely sanctioned marijuana industry. The Colorado marijuana business landscape is broad and state regulated. From licensed pot farms and distributors to a burgeoning tourist industry, the marijuana market is growing. The overseeing body has reacted quickly to respond to the climate and needs of the market.
Competitive and diverse market. Since legalization, the marijuana market has already expanded to include more dispensaries, as well as bed and breakfasts, marijuana tourism, marijuana delivery services, and other entrepreneurial endeavors. Some residents have found that unless you go to a dispensary, it is more difficult to buy weed on the streets. Legalization is also changing the way people buy weed.
Reduced crime rates and improved law enforcement. The relationship between residents and police seems to have improved. In addition to a reduction in the rate of violent crimes, residents have also said that they feel more protected by police, not that the police are out to get them. As one local pointed out, he could actually call the police if his weed got stolen. Many residents also felt that they were being harassed less by police.
Revenue. Since the legalization of marijuana, Colorado has had a significant increase in tax revenues, which has been dedicated to regulating the marijuana industry and law enforcement. The money is also being used to improve education throughout the state.
Favored among residents. Even for those who do not use marijuana, there seems to be widespread tolerance. Many appreciate that the tax revenues is going to crime prevention and education. Some hope that legalization will improve opportunities for the homeless, as a cheaper and less destructive alternative to liquor or other drugs, including pharmaceuticals.
Reduced activism. One change that Colorado has seen is a reduction in activism. Since legalization, residents haven’t had the need to protest, get their petitions signed, or lobby the state lawmakers. Where campuses used to push for legalization and blaze in public to protest, smoking is now legal and out in the open.
Complicated medical marijuana policy. One potential problem is that medical marijuana is cheaper and that many people buy from dispensaries to get a better price. Officials are seeking to change policies related to medical marijuana dispensaries and access.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:
Getting Started in the Medical Marijuana Industry, May 15, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
App Technology Highlights Future of Marijuana Business, July 9, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog