Recreational Marijuana is on the rise in the United States. States where recreational marijuana is legal have seen a large decrease in crime associated with marijuana, as well as an increase in tax dollars that fund roads, schools, and public works expansions.
Why Is Cannabis Legalization Important?
For nearly (5) decades, Cannabis has been considered a highly dangerous drug by the United States government. It is currently classified as a Schedule I Substance under the Controlled Substance Act of 19701, a classification that is used for substances with high potential for abuse and no medical use. Currently, more than half of the United States have passed legislation that permits medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids. Once the prohibition on cannabis is lifted at a federal level, it will become much easier for medical institutions to perform research studies into long-term effects of cannabis use.
Decriminalization vs. Legalization
In some states, counties, and local municipalities, legalization of cannabis has not passed, but measures to lessen penalties for possession of cannabis have been taken. Decriminalization most often takes the form of monetary fines in place of jail time for possession of cannabis. Little is being done to decriminalize the sale and distribution of the plant, however.
Marijuana Tourism in the United States
Denver, Colorado is becoming one of the most popular locations for marijuana tourism in the world since recreational marijuana became legal for recreational use in 2012. Marijuana tourism is proving to be extremely lucrative for the Colorado government, exceeding approximately $1 Billion in sales annually2.