Archive for April, 2014

Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado

April 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It has been more than a year when the Amendment 64 took place and the use of Marijuana for recreational purpose was legalized. Just after three months of the first retail sales, the popularity of the legalization has increased many folds. The latest survey by the Public Policy Polling states that 57 percent of the people approve of its legalization whereas 35 percent of them disapprove it which makes a difference of 22 points. The Amendment 64 for legalization of Marijuana was passed with a margin of just 10 points. It is now evident that the people are now looking at the benefits of legalizing use of Marijuana from their own eyes and hence the support will continue to grow.

The drug is used equally by the black or brown people and white people but mostly the blacks are targeted. The passing of the law to legalize the use of Marijuana will not end but certainly reduce the racial disparity. As it is known that the war on the drug has led to mass incarceration and criminalization of the people of color and the legalization of the use of Marijuana is just one step towards ending this discrimination.  Mentioned below are the three reasons as to why legalization of the use of marijuana is beneficial:

  1. The law newly made in Colorado allows the people who are 21 years or above use, possess, sell up and produce one ounce of marijuana at one time. This is going to affect the people in Colorado which will be measurable as the racial disparity shown for the arrest of people possessing marijuana in Colorado has been considerable. It has been reported that in the last one decade the blacks who were arrested for the possession of marijuana was 3 times more than the whites though they are the biggest users. The arrests for possession of marijuana can be devastating as an arrest record can affects a person’s probability of getting a job, student loan, housing and other public benefits. Making marijuana legal will prevent these arrests.
  2. This is not decriminalization and hence the new law says that there will not be any arrest for the possession of Marijuana in Colorado. There is vast difference between the word decriminalization and legalization. In decriminalization only the word criminal is removed but the civil penalties related to the possession of marijuana stays. However, in Colorado the marijuana industry has now been made legal and at the times above ground. Thus, people at Colorado have all the rights to possess marijuana products, but with some restrictions like that of the age, public use and driving. The police now will not be able to racially discriminate a person by saying that they smelled marijuana or they have seen it in plain view.
  3. The issues related to illicit market will be reduced. With legalization the users of marijuana will start buying it from the regulated head shops and hence we will see all the problems said to be due to marijuana will be eliminated as the actual problem was with its prohibition. The issues that were related to the drug trade at street corner will begin to fall as the illegal market will be gradually replaced by head shops that will be well guarded and will have security systems along with camera. The consumers now will have the liberty to choose from a range of marijuana products. The consumers will know what they are getting instead of getting it sheepishly and at a price or potency that he is capable of. Initially the prices of marijuana were just like they were before. Now, this is because the marijuana market has not opened up. But, following weeks when the market opens up and more and more stores start selling marijuana then they will get their choice of marijuana at a very low price comparatively. Those people who do not want to buy from store can grow to a limit of 6 marijuana plants. Legalization of the use of marijuana is definitely a great step in the history of Colorado.
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