Ever since it was first outlawed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, Americans have been begging for legal marijuana in at least some form or fashion. While the cause was mostly championed by hippies and other counterculture groups, the movement has officially gone mainstream with 58% of Americans supporting legalized marijuana. Two states, Colorado and Washington, gave the people what they want by legalizing weed for recreational use. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Take a look at how theses states are making marijuana the newest American success story.
A ‘Higher’ Economy
One of the most common arguments for legalizing weed is the positive effect it would have on the economy. While naysayers dismiss these claims, Colorado and Washington have been ‘seeing green’ in more ways than one. In 2015, Colorado collected over $70 million in taxes from marijuana sales, nearly doubling the $42 million collected from alcohol. An estimated $45 million of that tax revenue went to new school construction and drug education programs meant to keep kids away from more harmful substances. Washington performed even better, collecting $83 million in tax revenues used to strengthen pubic health and drug recovery programs throughout the state.
As if the tax revenues weren’t high enough, Colorado and Washington are also saving millions by not having to enforce pointless marijuana prohibition. In fact, law enforcement costs in both states have seen a decline thanks to lower rates of violent crime and fewer traffic fatalities following the legalization of recreational pot.
No Increase in Teen Use
“Won’t somebody think of the children” had become a very tiresome argument made by people opposing marijuana legalization. As irritating as that argument was, it wasn’t the easiest point to debate – until now. States that legalized medical marijuana actually saw youth usage rates go unchanged, while usage in states enforcing prohibition went up! So much for legal marijuana ruining our youth.
A New Strain of the American Dream
Perhaps the most compelling side effect of legalized marijuana has been the surge of locally owned, small businesses that support the new industry. However, job creation isn’t the only benefit; women and minorities are thriving as leaders in this untapped market! It’s not just the business owners prospering either, this booming industry requires a range of services from marketing to security and even plumbing to function properly. All these things mean more money traveling between local businesses.
Texas: Embrace Change for the Better
Southerners are known for being stubborn, in fact, we’re downright proud of it! However, this is not an issue worth remaining stubborn about. Every year Texas’ lawmakers fail to enact common sense marijuana policies, millions of dollars are lost and wasted, and countless lives are ruined by our unforgiving justice system.
Until our state wakes up and does the right thing, don’t go out without Thiessen Law Firm’s number programmed into your phone. From DWI to drug possession, we fight tirelessly to earn our clients the fair legal treatment they deserve so that they can regain their freedom and resume their lives. If you’ve been the victim of these unfair laws, call us to schedule a free consultation and get your life back on track.