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Marijuana sales reap revenues, arrests for drug offenses go down

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has so far demonstrated some of the positive developments that the law’s supporters predicted. For example, it appears that a dent has been placed on black market illegal marketing of the drug. Arrests for drug offenses relating to marijuana are obviously down to nothing, although there remains a slew of laws and regulations designed to manage the flow of the product through the various legal stages contemplated by the law.

Predictably, there is a 77 percent drop in marijuana arrests from a year ago. So far it appears that the new product is already injecting some energy into the economic lifeblood of the state economy. That may be one of the most surprising facts of legalization: it surprisingly seems to be quickly settled into a pattern of normal business routine.

Encouragingly, robberies and burglaries are down from a year ago. The stimulus to the job market and to the economy is not charted statistically, but after seven months it appears that the charitable and social programs promised by the supporters are well off the ground and flourishing. The legalization law also promises up to $40 million for school construction each year, a goal that, if met, is in itself a great step toward stabilization of a healthy growth rate in the state’s education system.

Programs to control drugged driving are moving apace. Furthermore, there certainly has been no evidence surfacing to support the negative prediction that accidents would skyrocket in Colorado. In fact, the Colorado State Patrol reported the fatal crashes in the first quarter of 2014 were down 25.5 percent from a year ago.

Programs to enforce the ban on minors under 21 from using the drug, and to minimize drug offenses among that category, are moving along. One campaign stressing the need to let the body and mind grow before using the drug is geared toward 12 to 15-year-old age demographic. In many ways, the platform surrounding the support of Amendment 64 in Colorado is coming true, and required protective and enforcement aspects are being duly implemented.

Source: The New York Times, "The Great Colorado Weed Experiment", Lawrence Downes, Aug. 2, 2014

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