Get PJ Media on your Apple

Will Colorado Regret Legalizing Marijuana?

As much a social experiment as it is a legal one.

by
The Editors

Bio

January 8, 2014 - 1:13 pm

Well, we’ve entered a brave new world. It is now legal to light up and toke in Colorado, a turn of events that even a few years ago seemed fantastic.

A recent CNN poll — in line with other polls – shows that by a 55% to 44% margin, Americans believe that pot should be legal. Not surprisingly, as Allahpundit points out, younger people are more in favor of legalization than older people are. Significantly, smoking marijuana is not seen as “morally wrong” by a vast majority. About the same number of people see “living with someone when you’re not married” on the same level morally as smoking pot.

Sales of legal pot reached $5 million for the first week:

Colorado, the first state to allow retail recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 and older, has projected nearly $600 million in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales annually. The state, which expects to collect nearly $70 million in tax revenue from pot sales this year, won’t have its first official glimpse at sales figures until Feb. 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Tax revenue like that, along with public support for legalization, has many states looking very carefully at the possibility of making pot legal — and taxable.

But what about the social costs? Legalizing pot may allow states to divert law enforcement resources to other, more serious problems. But this is as much a social experiment as it is a legal one. Unforeseen consequences of making a potent drug legally available are likely.

We’ve heard from the experts and the pundits. Now it’s your turn. The simple question is: Will Colorado regret legalizing marijuana? Please leave your opinion in the comments below. If you haven’t registered to comment yet, please take a few seconds to do so.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Today we have epidemics of Diabetes, Heart Disease and various Cancers. Diabetes and Heart Disease are food and lifestyle born illnesses; addictions to sugar, salt, and fats. Children are developing Type II Diabetes at alarming rates. This proves that one can become psychologically addicted to a myriad of things, including gambling, sex, stealing and foods.

Cannabis is not physically addictive like many drugs, legal, illegal, and prescribed. Many drug studies argue about the addictive qualities and how they rank, placing alcohol up near the highest levels and equal to many opiates. Most young children and teenagers begin experimenting with alcohol and nicotine before cannabis. Singling cannabis as a gateway drug is not an accurate and honest assessment as it excludes alcohol and nicotine as drugs. "Drugs and alcohol" is wrong, alcohol is a drug too, and anyone who has held an alcoholic in their arms while they 'dry out" knows this firsthand, witnessing shakes, sweating, seizures, vomiting, and at times violent outbursts. This does not happen with cannabis, people do not and cannot become physically addicted to it.

Cannabis was used medicine, recreation, food, textiles, ropes, nets, sails and other items for centuries - far more longer than compared to it's illegality. The claim that it should be maintained at Schedule 1 narcotic by the Federal Government goes against all the science available, including against recommendations from NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) researchers and doctors. The fact that it is a Schedule 1 makes it next to impossible for private and public researchers to obtain cannabis for research purposes as the Federal Government controls access to cannabis, making it available from one university source in Mississippi.

The War on Drugs is over forty years old now, and has cost taxpayers over $1 Trillion, and counting violence in Mexico via drug cartels, and gang violence in the United States, hundreds of thousands of lives. Do we really find it morally appropriate to frog march hundreds of thousands of non violent cannabis offenders to gladiator academies over an ounce of cannabis, or less in some cases? Do we feel it justified to seize property over cannabis, in some states on can lose their automobiles for amounts weighing less than a gram.

Have we learned nothing from the history of Prohibition of Alcohol? We witnessed the birth of mafias and cartels in every state, speak-easy's serving moonshine whiskey and bath tub gin that at times was flat out dangerous and deadly to drink. Do we want to maintain this kind of environment with cannabis? Witness "grow houses" which tap into local water and energy infrastructures making them dangerous to neighborhoods, impossible to renovate and resell; witness Illegals exploiting park lands with dangerous chemicals, and tapping into natural water resources. Witness that cannabis represents 33% of all drug cartel revenues.

When we locate this fairy tale LA-LA Land where everyone is sober, please comment here and tell me where you are; in the meantime, the MORALLY UPRIGHT and compassionate thing to do, is pass sensible laws, sensible regulations, useful taxes, and provide sensible compassionate care and education for those addicted to HARD DRUGS like alcohol, opiates (esp prescriptions), and meth....

Real Conservatives are for less government, more rights to States, and individual Liberty. This Puritanical approach to cannabis is a relic of 1930's mindsets. It continues a growing culture of government intrusions into the lives of every day, non violent, hard working, tax paying citizens. It will be a shock to many citizens just how many Conservative Americans come out of the Clandestine Cannabis Closet in Washington and Colorado when they no longer have to fear a militarized police force.

Cease and desist from this tendency to CONTROL. This mindset has led us to the culmination of decades of lies and BRAINWASHING from a government that has led us to wars, led to accept 17 trillion dollar deficits, billions in bailouts to the politicians' benefactors, to accept a government that tracks phone calls, emails, financial transactions AND EVEN THEIR LICENSE PLATES....To accept laws that violate their 2nd Amendment Rights, 4th Amendment Rights; to accept a Federal Reserve Bank that operates outside of the Democratic process and laws of the Republic; to accept a government that RULES by Executive Order and not Legislative Process or Parliamentary Procedures. Perhaps it is the alcoholics in Washington DC, every state capital, city and county that have led us down a path that protects exactly who, and for what and why?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You will babble this bullsh!t about "pigs" and "rights" until the day comes when some pothead piles into a car occupied by your closest loved ones and kills or permanently injures one or more of them.

Then come back and tell us about the wonders of weed. I listened to lectures about "I should be able to do with my body as I want stuff" for years from a family member. He headed for CO just recently. He's in his thirties, hasn't been employed for years, talks and thinks like a 14 year-old, and will soon be a ward of that state for his income since he is essentially unemployable. You'll love him, you saps in Colorado and especially you Democrats for whom he votes exclusively. Also, he is big on "increasing liberty". I've heard that one before, too.

But to answer the question posed by the editors. "Will Colorado regret legalizing marijuana?" Only if they don't mind supporting thousands fitting the description of the individual above. But maybe they will be too stoned to care on way or the other.

Now ask me about my years of experience with hiring employees for construction work and how that worked out with those that were later discovered to be potheads (or drunks). Both had one thing in common. They were worthless.

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't understand why smoking tobacco is bad for your health but smoking marijuana is very good. Isn't smoke smoke and detrimental to the lungs?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (158)
All Comments   (158)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Smart states, smart courts, smart judges will use this to their state's advantage. For pot-related offenses, they'll offer two options: 1. Pay with a fine/jail or 2. Move to a pot-legal state.

The result with be as The Yooper's post about someone in his family: "He's in his thirties, hasn't been employed for years, talks and thinks like a 14 year-old, and will soon be a ward of that state for his income since he is essentially unemployable."

When I lived in Seattle (until last August) I knew several homeless guys. Likable and not much wrong with them but alcohol or drug problems that meant they couldn't hold down a regular job. Legalization will almost certainly increase their numbers and the resulting welfare costs.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let me get this straight. Liberals hate E-cigerettes and ban smoking everywhere they can but it's ok with liberals to toke up and smoke this stuff? Just goes to prove that liberalism is a degenerative disease.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
msmyway, It's the Boomers like us that will get this "Prohibition" lifted.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the laws against the trafficking and using of recreational laws should be abolished. They have the same pernicious effects as Prohibition did, including crime, and are a waste of time and money for law enforcement. They are bad for health?- so what, lots of things are bad for health, including candy, cigarettes, and lack of exercise. Driving under the influence is dangerous, just as driving under the influence of alcohol is -and should be penalized like DUI.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
God of Israel “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Several States in the American Union have legalized the recreational use of marijuana (medical use is a Trojan horse in order to enter the gate for future recreational use ) even with studies that state that this drug leads to the use of even more dangerous addictions. How safe is your life, liberty and property if your neighbors are intoxicated, doped up, and mentally impaired, and being so addicted, you must depend on them to preserve your society, to preserve your life, liberty and property? Not safe at all, read example. Does not the habits and addictions of the sovereign, the People, permeate their every institution for good or for evil?
Example
David Hardy 'Juror Testimony' transcript “he felt like...the jury was on one big party...seven jurors drank alcohol....Hardy stated that on several occasions he observed two jurors having one or two mixed drinks during the lunch recess, and one other juror, who was also the foreperson, having a liter of wine...three other jurors smoked marijuana quite regularly during the trial. Moreover, Hardy stated that during the trail he observed one juror ingest cocaine five times and another juror ingest cocaine two or three times. One juror sold a quarter pound of marijuana to another juror during the trial, and took marijuana, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia into the courthouse. Hardy noted that some of the jurors were falling asleep during trial, and that one of the jurors described himself to Hardy as 'flying'. (History of the Common Law, page 526)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The 6 groups who benefit from drug prohibition" from the expert who knows best. This video is worth your time & very eye-opening. If you are "on the fence" or have an open mind, this will settle this argument once and for all... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6t1EM4Onao
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well we all have our opinions on pot but I think it's here to stay. Have you ever heard of any government putting an end to a tax revenue stream once it begins? Politicians love new sources of tax
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two comments:
1) The "War on Pot" has creates a permenant scar on our economy by creating felony convicions that keep millions under-employed, especailly the lower class that already has its own challenges.

2) Pot convictions have damanged our democracy by preventing felons from voting. Perhaps the inner cities would be less democratic if such a large population is prevented from voting, and prevented from gainful employment.

All the negatives also apply to cigarettes and alchohol, and we have laws that address DUI, etc. What is so criminal about a drink or a smoke in your own home?? Should that destroy your career, family and country??
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Marijuana is called the "gateway drug" for a reason. The only reason to smoke it is to get high, and when that high is not enough, crack cocaine, cocaine, and the opiate products are waiting. The end product is a person reliant on drugs.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
L.E. Liesnet....JUST STOP this line of B.S. already!! I am a 61 year old female ovarian cancer survivor who "legal, highly addictive, narcotic" pain pills don't work on....NOT NSAIDS & NOT opiates!! I live in NV & in 2012 as I lay in bed crying & screaming in agonizing pain for months on end, I found out that Medical Cannabis was only 1/2 legal. First you had to break the law before you could comply with it. With both Hubby & I unemployed at the time (& draining our life savings to keep me alive & yes we had excellent insurance), I determined that I would just have to SUFFER lest we get busted & have to pay Legal Fees on top of Doctors, Hospitals, etc. I ALWAYS thought pot should be treated like booze, but now I am "on a mission" to see this happen. I have already testified before the NV State Legislature (actually b!t€h slapped them) & did the same before the City Council here in Las Vegas. I will do this before the Clark County Commission, the U.S. Congress, The Supreme Court, the POTUS & God if necessary. I am just over a year in remission & still slowly regaining my health, but I can and WILL do this if necessary, even if it means I have sleep for a month afterward, to regain my strength & energy. We "responsible adults " do NOT need or want the (nanny state) government telling us how to live!!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three points:

1)Whether or not Colorado regrets legalizing pot, I regret it.

2)Nobody was every able to make head or tale of anti-pot laws. If you're talking about sending somebody to jail for 20 years for smoking, I just never understood it. If you're talking about 20 years for a criminal enterprise, no problem with that, make it 40. If you're talking about tax-payer funded rehab for idiots who knew better going in--uh uh. The only rehab that has EVER worked with any of these people gets down to the bottom dollar, personal responsibility.

3) The more I thought about marijuana as a 'gateway drug' the weirder it got.
Up until now, marijuana has been smoked by people who are willing to break the law. Think about it. These are people who are ALREADY SHOWING YOU that societal law and norms don't apply to themselves. Pot IS a gateway to lawbreaking behavior, like prostitution, like some forms of gambling. Maybe its a gateway for addictive people. How many guys pay for hookers and don't break other laws? Gambling, the same.

Again, smoking pot is stupid and deleterious to any 'normal' life, let alone 'family life.' But now that legalization seems to be making its sweep I think its fair to say we'll have more accurate info on whether it's pot or people who are the 'gateway' to worse drugs and illegal behavior.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as we cancer patients aren't denied our medicine... When it's you or your loved one who pain pills don't work on you see things VERY Differently!!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Read what I said. I'm glad you're in remission.

And when it comes to cancer and pain, don't assume I don't know about those things.
Did I go there?

Here's the thing. Any drug, as far as I'm concerned, can and should be legal for medical use if it's effective. That's a very different story than simply legalizing a drug for general use.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Terence57...Lifting "Prohibition 2.0" needs to start with cancer patients & end with "Liberty and Justice for all". See the above post/link to Judge Jim Gray's expert information. Thanks for the KUDOS on remission, now our cat is in chemo...can't seem to get cancer to leave our house. :(
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All