Colorado Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational UseTuesday, Nov 6th 2012 was a fascinating day for the people of Colorado. The second attempt at lifting the prohibition on marijuana across the state did not just taste success but set a precedent in the US. Amendment 64 legalizes marijuana for recreational use by adults aged 21 and above.
Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper had been opposing the move but given what the huge majority of Colorado that voted in favor of marijuana legalization, the state or any such authorities have very little to oppose now. This is not the first time that Colorado had sought to lift the prohibition since in 2006 there was an initiative to remove penalties for the possession of marijuana. The attempt failed back then but what’s even better this time around is that it just doesn’t delve into the penalties but regulates the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana. Colorado becomes the first state with such an initiative in the US and the repercussions of this, if any, would be closely watched by the entire nation and the whole world.
Critics have argued that it doesn’t make any rational sense to approve Amendment 64 and cite the reasons of possibility of increased crime and other factors as an obvious effect. However, the advocates of the historic move have more positive reasons to offer. Legalization of marijuana still doesn’t offer anyone the opportunity to wholesale to the general public. Much like Amsterdam where only 5 grams of cannabis can be sold legally, Colorado would also be strictly regulated by law enforcement and state agencies. For the Amendment 64 to actually take effect it would still be a while and it may be another year before you could easily pick up your stock and head back home for a smoke.
There are several financial implications to this historic amendment and they are all extremely encouraging. The state would be earning several millions of dollars in taxes which now simply grow the underground market. Analysts have stated that initially there could be as little as $5 million to $22 million in annual tax revenue which is being estimated by the pro pot groups to be as much as $60 million in another 5 years.
For Colorado folks, this is only a rational move since it is unfair to prohibit marijuana while alcohol consumption isn’t. Smoking marijuana on a Friday night just like alcohol neither effects societal problems, law and order issues nor does it impede an individual from heading back to work on Monday.