TPJ: Prohibition didn't work for alcohol and it isn't working with marijuana. Especially considering that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not cause overdoses. According to Carrie Click with The Aspen Business Journal, Amendment 64 is popular with Democrats and Republicans alike:
The economic factors of passing the bill are compelling. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. According to economist Christopher Stiffler at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the number could be as large as $60 million dollars added to state coffers by 2017. The study also concludes that a windfall of $12 million in instant savings will occur in the year following legalization because of reduced legal, court and prison costs. Annual savings (compared to a pre-legalization year’s budget) will approach nearly $40 million once the legal system adjusts to the decrease in crimes eliminated by the bill’s passage.
An estimated $24 million in new tax revenue generated from excise taxes on wholesalers will go directly to the Colorado Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund, which will help create over 372 new jobs from school construction projects [...] With those numbers, it’s no surprise Amendment 64 is receiving support from both sides of the aisle in Colorado. Many members of both parties have abandoned the former partisan stances and gotten behind the bill out of its pure economic upside.TPJ: The key here is jobs, jobs, jobs. Jobs in a new industry in everything from farmers to accountants. Colorado could be the next Sonoma Valley (California Wine Country). But, as usual, the DEA is resisting a new, educated, policy on marijuana. According to journalist Carrie Click:
According to the US Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the legalization of marijuana still violates federal law. If passage of these measures takes place in any or all states, some warn that it will lead to a "constitutional showdown,” as federal law maintaining the illegality of the drug still preempts state law.TPJ: The DEA worries about a "constitutional showdown" between state and federal law on marijuana legality? That's exactly the kind of fear-mongering that I'd expect from a losing side, desperate for maintaining a failed system. Maybe it's time to have a "constitutional showdown" and force the federal government to take a fresh look at the futility of fighting marijuana. I think a lot of Americans believe the old, entrenched ways of Washington deserve a shake-up. The status quo (on many issues) just isn't working anymore. I think the problem is with the government, not the people. The people are waking up and realizing that they've been lied to about marijuana, and are tired of otherwise law abiding people going to jail simply for using a substance, pot, that doesn't cause overdoses, unlike alcohol!! No more wasting money and lives!!
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