What’s The Impact Of Recreational Marijuana Becoming Legal In Colorado?
When Colorado’s new law legalizing the use of marijuana went into effect there were mixed feelings about the consequences. Some opponents of the legalization argue that more children will become addicted to the drug at a younger age. They also caution that marijuana is a “gateway drug” to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine, and that it is known to cause health and psychological problems. What are Colorado’s laws that will aid in controlling marijuana consumption, keeping it in the hands of responsible individuals who are of age?
The Laws And Ways Of Obtaining Pot
Colorado actually has two sets of marijuana laws on the books. The laws for recreational use went into effect on January 1, 2014, but medicinal use has been legal since November 7, 2000. Not only are there different laws but there are also different locations for obtaining pot, with medicinal users getting it from dispensaries and recreational users going to newly opened shops.
The main reason for the separate laws is the taxes levied against recreational users. Though medicinal users pay less taxes, they also have to get a Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry identification card, otherwise known as a “red card,” which costs $90 to obtain and to renew. (The price will be lowered to $15 in February 2014.)
Colorado law bans the consumption of marijuana in public places, driving under the influence and taking the drug out of state. The state has also made it easier to win convictions against drivers who caused accident or injury while under the influence of drugs. The legal age of use is 21.
Recreational users can legally grow and possess up to six plants, up to one ounce of cultivated marijuana while traveling, and give a gift of up to one ounce to those 21 and up. Medicinal users can grow six plants as well, can possess up to two ounces of cultivated marijuana and can also gift up to an ounce to others who are at least 21.
Legal Marijuana Possibly Bringing In Big Bucks
Those who are celebrating the new law are optimistic about the revenue that the retail stores will generate. Research conducted by ArcView Market Research, a company that tracks data from the marijuana industry, reported that medical marijuana generated $1.4 billion in 2013. The researchers predict that number to grow to $2.34 billion in 2014, thanks to the new laws in Colorado and those in Washington, which will have its own law legalizing marijuana that will go into effect later this year. State officials predict that marijuana sales will generate an estimated $67 million in annual tax revenue.
Legal Marijuana’s Impact On Future Abuse And Addiction
Whether Colorado residents are for or against the legalization of marijuana, the impact of legalization on abuse and addiction could be seen for years to come.
Read More About The Pros And Cons Of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana And What It May Do For The Economy Of Our Country And The Health Problems Of Users