Colorado’s legalization of marijuana was completed this year. Now stores are allowed to sell the substance — still classified by the federal government as an illegal drug — to adults over the age of 21 for recreational use.
Since legalization occurred, the state has been viewed as a testing ground for marijuana’s legalization on a national level. In the five months since the substance was legalized, reports have varied as to the experiment’s success.
Critics of marijuana legalization cite strange instances such as a Denver man who shot and killed his wife after consuming edible marijuana and going on a paranoid rant.
According to RT, however, crime in Denver has actually decreased while revenue has gone up since legalization began. Violent crime and property crime from January 1 to April 30 reportedly dropped 10.6 percent compared to the same timespan last year. While that statistic is incredibly specific and probably does not hint towards the overall effect of marijuana on crime, it is interesting to consider.
In terms of revenue, however, the positive impact of marijuana legalization is undeniable. The Associated Press reports that $19 million was made from recreational marijuana in March alone, with at least $1.9 million of that revenue going directly to the state government for immediate use. Colorado’s tax revenue is expected to reach $30 million by the end of the year, although previous monthly estimates have already been surpassed.