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How has Colorado benefited from legalizing marijuana?

Marijuana is a drug talked about often in the news; many states have approved it for legal use, while others have made it a point to ban it. While still federally banned, Colorado made headlines when it legalized the drug several years ago.

Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for three years, as of January 2017, and some of the changes to Colorado are amazing. For example, a 2016 report indicated that drug-related charges of all types had dropped around the state, simply because marijuana had been legalized.

Thousands fewer people were arrested or jailed for marijuana use or possession, with charges for distribution, cultivation and possession dropping by over 80 percent. This means the state government is also saving money since the police and courts don't need to spend time arresting people using this drug.

The Drug Policy Alliance has stated that all drug-related charges have dropped by a shocking 23 percent at the judicial district level. This could mean that legalizing this drug has had an overall positive effect on all aspects of drug use and distribution.

As far as the financial benefits go, Colorado has come out on top with $125 million in revenue in 2015 alone. This extra money was used to increase youth prevention, to improve behavioral health programs and to improve the local school systems.

There's still a chance that you can be arrested for possessing too much marijuana or for selling it to minors, which are crimes you need to defend yourself against. On the whole, drug crimes are down, and the state is much more understanding of this medically necessary drug.

Source: The Free Thought Project, "After Year 2 of Legal Pot In Colorado, All Drug-Related Charges Drop Significantly, Record Revenue," Justin Gardner, accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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