Six months after Colorado sanctioned the legal sale of recreational marijuana two figures are attracting much attention:
1. Colorado’s tax revenue is experiencing a Rocky Mountain high.
A report released by the Drug Policy Alliance shows that state’s tax revenue is up by nearly $11 million. Gov. Hickenlooper estimates that sales in all marijuana stores will approach $1 billion for the 2014 fiscal year. That’s nearly $134 million projected in tax revenue. Retail store sales are estimated to account for more than $600 million of that, more than 50 percent higher than initially projected.
Though many industry advocates believe this estimate to be exaggerated, there will undoubtedly be an increase in tax revenue from retail marijuana sales. $40 million of the tax revenue raised through marijuana sales will be allocated to improving Colorado schools. The Colorado Department of Revenue estimates that approximately $1.9 million of this $40 million has been raised so far. Other tax revenue is proposed for youth and public education campaigns about marijuana.
2. Denver crime rates have significantly fallen.
The organization also reports that marijuana-related arrests, which make up 50% of all drug-related crimes, have dropped considerably in Colorado, allowing law enforcement to focus on more serious criminal activity. Government data shows that the Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 52.9% since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January. As well, Colorado has saved somewhere between $12 million and $40 million by removing marijuana penalties, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
These numbers are no “toke,” and are making many lawmakers take a second look at legalizing marijuana. And it appears that Americans agree. The Gallup poll below shows that for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized.
So America, are we ready for a higher tomorrow? Given the great figures coming out of Colorado, I think so!
See two stunning figures that are catching everyone’s eye.