• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

Cheerful News from Colorado re: Cannabis Legalization 2023/2024

Cheerful News from Colorado re: Cannabis Legalization/Regulation/Taxation

Cannabis became legal in December 2012. Stores opened on January 1, 2014. In 2024 there are 1000 plus stores and companies employing directly some 34,000 tax-paying workers.

In order of importance:

Teen use unchanged from 2012 thru 2023: Source: Center for Disease Control – Youth Risky Behavior Survey and a SAMSHA (Fed Agency).  Slight uptick in teen use in 2022, following a national trend.

Fatal Car Accidents involving DUI marijuana drivers remains relatively unchanged (per miles traveled) thru 2019: a major increase was predicted by Prohibitionists. 2020 and 2021 saw major increases in alcohol and MJ intoxicated driving due to Covid.
Total Arrests for DUI in 2015: 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. This from the 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.

60 million saved yearly in law enforcement costs (court time, police overtime, probation, etc) each year
About 34,000 MJ related jobs have been created. Tourism is way up – “thriving” per the Governor.
Combined tax revenue thru 2023 was circa 2.5 Billion. Up from ZERO in 2013.

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.

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 2018 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. Banking and IRS rule (280E; deducting normal business expenses) will have to change, order to further shrink the black market.

Respectfully submitted,

Howard J. Wooldridge
Drug Policy Specialist, Citizens Opposing Prohibition. org
Assistance from Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation (CRCR) in preparing this document is appreciated

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