AlterNet noted the two year anniversary of legalized marijuana in Colorado, describing the economic benefits along with the decrease in incarceration:
1) Thousands Not Arrested for Marijuana in Colorado
This initial and foundational aspect of marijuana legalization is often overlooked – marijuana arrests in Colorado have plummeted. We’ve seen possession, cultivation and distribution charges for marijuana cumulatively drop over 80%. Thousands of people in the state are no longer facing the immediate or collateral impact of a marijuana arrest. These thousands we speak of are disproportionately young black and brown men who now face one less obstacle of the many they endure in this country. We’ve also seen all drug-related charges drop by 23% on a judicial district level since the passage of amendment 64.
2) Revenue Allocation for Important Services
Colorado is projected to have brought in over 125 million dollars in taxes for 2015. These monies are put into a fund to improve local public schools or are collected by the state to be divvied up via the Governor’s allocation plan. The Governor’s plan provides a snapshot as to what a public health approach to marijuana looks like—funds are distributed to public education, behavioral health, law enforcement and youth prevention…
The article also noted the benefits reported after the first year by the Drug Policy Alliance:
The city of Denver saw a decrease in violent crime rates in the first 11 months of 2014, following a similar trend in 2013. Statewide traffic fatalities continue to decline, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Conservative groups opposed to marijuana legalization previously issued their own negative report, with the results being seen by others as politically motivated.
Originally posted at Liberal Values