By: Christina Park
Just this past month, Amendment 64 was passed by voters of the state of Colorado. Amendment 64 legalizes the use of marijuana for recreational use for those over the age of 21. Medical marijuana was already legal in the state for those with a medical marijuana card. Colorado was not the only one to legalize marijuana this past month. Washington state voters brought change to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
It comes with no surprise that Colorado College was ranked #1 on Princeton’s review list of “The 10 Most Marijuana Friendly Colleges,” with University of Colorado-Boulder taking the #4 spot on the list.
But what does this mean for the future of the U.S. economy and people? According to state analysts, they project that it would bring tax revenue somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year. An economist funded by a pro-pot group projects a $60 million boost by 2017. Pro-pot campaigners argued that it could prove a bonus for cash-strapped states with new taxes on pot and reduce criminal justice costs. On the other hand, skeptics warn that Amendment 64 will now lead to costly legal battles and expensive new bureaucracies to regulate marijuana. Marijuana is still against federal laws, so the government still has given no clarity on how it’s going to handle the legalization in Colorado or Washington.
But what is the real matter at hand here? Voters certainly did not cast their votes based on the impact on taxes. The real question at hand is not whether it will produce revenue, but whether these drugs should be legal.