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Pending legislation: 6 States Consider Legalization


May 25, 2016

Colorado jumped the hurdle, as did 23 other states in the nation. On October 5, 2015, it was predicted that 11 more states would jump on the bandwagon. Every few months, more states announce intent to revisit this legislation. Maybe not so surprisingly, two of the main influential factors in passing legislation to legalize cannabis are the high cost of incarceration and overcrowding in the nation’s penal system. Denver marijuana dispensaries offer a little more ammunition to the advocates in support of legalization in states beyond Colorado.

In addition to reducing prison populations, dispensaries in Denver and elsewhere throughout the state are providing a substantial boost to Colorado’s tax revenue. It was reported that 2014 sales of legal marijuana hit $2.7 billion; with retail sales projected to increase to $35 billion by 2020. News.Mic reported in November, 2014, that the State of Washington predicted that legal sales of marijuana would bring in “about $60 million more in revenue over the next five years than originally predicted.” By 2019, the state is forecasted to have collected $695 million in excise, sales, and business taxes from the marijuana industry, with $419 million predicted for collection in the 2017 - 2019 period.

The recent approvals in many states to legalize cannabis have legislators, dealers, growers, and users navigating new sets of labyrinthine regulations that oftentimes don’t make sense. Advertizing cannabis falls under those regulations in Colorado. Marketing is driven by data and marijuana marketing is no exception. Colorado allows marijuana businesses place advertisements in newspapers, on the radio, and on television, provided that advertisers can prove the audience is of legal age (21 or older). While an advertiser can target media and venues aimed at an adult audience, there’s no feasible way to enforce the law that minors won’t see the ads. After all, how many 12-year-old boys have sneaked their daddies’ and uncles’ forbidden copies of Playboy or other skin magazines over the decades?

Other nonsensical conflicts arise between production and distribution. For instance, in Washington, D.C., it’s now legal to grow pot, but not to purchase it.

Pleasing both sides of the congressional aisle--on top of the tax windfall--is that doom-and-gloom predictions of a pot-fuelled crime wave simply hasn’t happened in those states that legalized marijuana. Critics who stated that legalization would trigger an increase in robberies and theft were wrong. TIME magazine reported on the decreasing trend in crime following legalization of cannabis, with marijuana court filings dropped to just 2 percent to the previous year’s levels.

Six states currently have legalization of marijuana pending on their 2016 ballots: Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The focus on those states’ ballots centers upon the medical benefits of marijuana. Advocates in Ohio are also working to put legalization on the ballot again, having learned from a resounding defeat in 2015 that citizens don’t like voting in monopolies as constitutional amendments even if they generally support medical marijuana.

Perhaps the best advantages for legalizing marijuana can be summed up on a personal level: quality of the product will be more consistent and users are less likely to suffer from product altered with other, potentially lethal, substances. For a knowledgeable and honest source of medical and recreational cannabis, Altitude Dispensary is your go-to choice among Denver marijuana dispensaries. Call (303) 756-8888 for more information.
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