Cheerful News from Colorado re: Cannabis Legalization/Regulation/Taxation: 2017
Cheerful News from Colorado re: Cannabis Legalization/Regulation/Taxation
Cannabis became legal in December 2012. Stores opened on January 1, 2014. In 2017 there are 500 plus stores and companies employing some 18,000 tax-paying workers.
In order of importance:
Teen use unchanged in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015: Source: Center for Disease Control – Youth Risky Behavior Survey and a SAMSHA (Fed Agency) report in 2015
Fatal Car Accidents involving DUI marijuana drivers remains relatively unchanged thru 2015: a major increase was predicted by Prohibitionists.
Total Arrests for DUI in 2015 dropped 1.3%..5200 arrested for DUI alcohol and 354 for DUI marijuana
Drivers testing positive for THC were overrepresented in the crash-involved (case) population. However, when demographic factors (age and gender) and alcohol use were controlled, the study did not find an increase in population-based crash risk associated with THC use. from National Hwy Traffic Safety Admin….translation = use of MJ does not increase risk of car accident overall.
Crime rates are unaffected by legalization per Colorado-based law enforcement
8% of stores tested sold cannabis to underage buyers in a state-run, sting operation during the summer of 2015. This is about the same rate as stores selling alcohol to underage buyers.
60 million saved in law enforcement costs (court time, police overtime, probation, etc) each year
Unemployment dropped to 3.5% in 2016 vs. 6.9% in May 2013: About 18,000 MJ related jobs have been created. Tourism is way up – “thriving” per the Governor.
Combined tax revenue thru 2017 was circa 300 million. Up from ZERO in 2013.
4.5 million sq. feet (500,000 sq. meters) of warehouse space in Denver is now growing marijuana.
Unhappy News from Colorado
Number of homeless has increased (moving in from other states and reflects a national trend)
States bordering Colorado are not happy, due to their evidence and courtrooms being over-filled with cases involving CO MJ.
There was an increase in home fires from 11 to 32 in 2014..caused by making hash oil in private homes. CO passed a new law in 2015, outlawing using butane to produce hash oil. No info on changes.
Mexican Cartels are not happy. Premium CO cannabis is being exported to Mexico and has penetrated their upper-end market, taking away market share from the Cartels inferior quality marijuana. The wholesale price of MX MJ has dropped by half since 2013. Source: Mexican rep to the United Nations
In Colorado the illicit retail market, though shrinking, is still robust. 30% of all MJ purchased (130 tons total) in 2015 was NOT bought at a state-regulated store – per state agency. The percentage purchased in state-regulated stores continues to climb slowly as prices drop.
Howard J. Wooldridge
Co-Founder of LEAP -Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Assistance from Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR) in preparing this document is appreciated