A little over a year ago on Nov. 6, 2012, Colorado and Washington, passed legislation that legalized the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years of age and over. In a recent study, 55 percent of Americans said that they approve of the legalization of recreational use of marijuana. Medical use of marijuana is legal in twenty states and Washington D.C. and there are several other states looking to legalize for recreational purposes also. These states include New York, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Alaska.
Even though recreational use is legalized in Colorado and Washington, opinions continue to vary over the topic. Due to the effects some say it may have on the body and the fact that it is considered to be a possible “gateway” drug, there are many people who oppose the legislation; on the other hand, supporters of legalized recreational use of marijuana say that legalizing the drug would eliminate the issues of drug cartel, and raise revenue for the state.
Over the past year, some things have changed due to the legalization of marijuana. According to some law officials, there have been an increase in home invasions and robberies in the state of Washington. People who can afford to buy marijuana are being victimized by people who cannot afford it but want to use it, according to some reports.
The side supporting the legalization recognizes the money that will come from pot businesses and taxes on the marijuana. In fact, on January 1, 2014 LoDo’s Dispensary in Colorado, had made around 400 sales after just a few hours of being opened, with people still waiting in line for a couple hours to make their purchases.
The tourism industry is gaining revenue due to the demand from legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado. According to CNN there
Image courtesy of static.ddmcdn.com (fair use) were people from Vermont, Arizona, Georgia, Oregon, Wyoming, Louisiana -- and even Alaska and Hawaii. Other prospective weed buyers came from Canada, Australia and Italy. Tourism is expected to continue to increase in Washington and Colorado due to the fact that they can recreationally and legally smoke weed in these places, something that is illegal in all other states.
There are still two sides to the argument of the benefit of legalizing marijuana made by these states. Now something to consider is whether or not this decision will carry over into other states.