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.