Oregon will join the recreational marijuana states of Washington, Colorado, and Alaska at midnight on July 1st
, mere hours from the publishing of this article. While we can only presume the line-up has already begun for the free weed promised with Oregon’s recreational legalization of marijuana, we decided we could join the celebration vicariously with these 5 facts about marijuana legalization that show the positive impact of this gradual change in national perspective.
1. Legal Cannabis Has Silenced the Violence
States’ efforts to legalize marijuana have already shown an impact on violent crime. The hard facts about marijuana related criminal activity in the state of Colorado showed a decreasing trend in violent crimes immediately following legal access to the drug. In 2014 alone, homicides dropped by over 50%, sexual assaults dropped by 14% and breaking and entering of automobiles decreased 36%. We’ll have to wait to see if trends mirror Colorado’s in the wake of the Oregon marijuana legalization but it seems likely. But the good vibes aren’t just hitting these pioneering states. With domestic legalization of marijuana, Mexican drug cartels have felt a sting that has actually reduced crime in Mexico. In 2011, Mexico reported nearly 23,000 homicides while in 2014, that number had dropped to 15,649. While those hoping to dissuade marijuana legalization cite the threat of increased violence, the facts about marijuana just don’t support it.
2. More Money, Less Problems
Colorado didn’t simply bounce back from economic hardship by legalizing recreational use of cannabis. The state actually became bountiful. Colorado cleaned up with $40 million in tax revenue in just the first 10 months of legalization. They’re pumping a lot of that money back into after school programs and education, bringing us to our next point.
3. The Youth Is Still Our Future
Those painting a picture of a nightmarish nation of inept stoners beg that we think about the children. Yet when we think about the facts of marijuana use in minors, we’ll see that it’s decreased since legalization. What’s arguably more important is that decreases were measured in alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking among minors. And these weren’t as slight. In 2014, alcohol and nicotine use were measured at their lowest point since 1975.
4. Better Research For More Valuable Facts About Marijuana
With facts about marijuana often debunking the demonization of the drug, the door is now open for increased research into the medical benefits of cannabis. The Oregon legalization may include recreational use, but that doesn’t mean the medicinal uses are being ignored. Legal cannabis allows scientists more freedom for their studies.
5. Industry Means Jobs
Marijuana is no longer a cartel run trade but an industry and with industry come jobs. With more Americans learning the facts about marijuana, entrepreneurial opportunities are arising as well as jobs all across the spectrum, from bud tending to marketing.
The American public are by and large waking up to the positive effects of legalization. Meanwhile, arguments against cannabis are weakened as the facts about marijuana use become widely available to the common man. Tonight Oregon takes its first step into a presumably brighter future. It seems that someday soon we’ll all feel that glow.