Societal Problems? Don’t Blame Legal Marijuana!

As the next wave of hypothetically pro-pot voters prepares to hit the polls on November 8, a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) exposes Nixon’s war on weed as a senseless waste of time, money and lives. Nixon’s fundamental misunderstanding of what legalized marijuana could accomplish only succeeded in perpetuating a cycle of incarceration and poverty – rather than “safeguarding America’s youth.”

Back in the pre-legal daze days of prohibition when the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana was little more than a lofty dream for many in the U.S., politicians with big hearts and open minds in Washington and Colorado stepped up to the plate and listened to their constituents. The two states ultimately authorized pro-legalization legislation that allowed their constituents to enjoy the adult consumption of recreational marijuana.

Legalized Fear Mongering

As the first two states dipped their toes into the petri dish of democracy by challenging the federal government and legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012, antagonists of true freedom and liberty cautioned the ill-informedwashington_colorado_marijuana_revenue that legalizing pot (even for medicinal purposes) would unleash the wrath of the Almighty and spark nothing short of the apocalypse for those who voted for it. Despite naysayers’ horrific claims that legalization would lead to an unrelenting escalation in crime, each state that has subsequently legalized recreational marijuana has reported similar cause-and-effect results — a significant drop in their marijuana incarceration rates and a pile of new marijuana-related tax revenue.

Published on Thursday by the DPA, the linked report examines and dispels the ugly propaganda surrounding the topic of legalized pot. Drilling down on facts, this report helps to dismiss any perceived notions about marijuana consumption amongst high school students in the legalized states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

Incarceration Down, Tax Revenue Up
  • Far from equitable, legalized marijuana in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, has dramatically reduced the unwarranted incarceration for personal marijuana possession – at least if you’re white.
  • Marijuana use did not spike amongst teenagers in states where recreational marijuana was legalized.
  • Collectively speaking, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have jointly generated over $500 million in new tax revenue.
  • After marijuana legalization, traffic fatalities in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have remained constant.

Dispelling most of the ignorant rhetoric spewed by the Nixon administration and his minions of the dark at the onset of this war on weed, the DPA’s report found the total number of DWI arrests declined in states that enjoy legalized recreational marijuana. One interesting observation – though it may have more to do with consumption than intoxication – once legalized, Washington State officials began noticing a spike in THC metabolites of those involved in fatal car crashes.

Cultivating Fiscal Responsibility
  •  Colorado collected $78 million in marijuana tax revenue during their first year of legal pot sales – beginning January 1, 2014.
  •  Elevated marijuana tax revenue hit $129 million during their second year of recreational pot sales in Colorado.
  •  Washington State harvested $78 million in marijuana tax revenue during their first year of legal pot sales – beginning July 8, 2014.
  •  Washington state raked in $220 million in marijuana tax revenue during their second year of operation.

Far from 50, these four pioneering states represent the proverbial canary in the coal mine for those hoping to legalize marijuana in their home state. While prohibitionists predicted carnage on the highways and byways, and addiction in the classrooms — none of which materialized — constituents in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine view the canary test as a success, and are now preparing to cast their ballots on November 8, 2016.

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