Somehow, there are still some people in this country, though it shrinks with each passing year, who believe the parts of the United States featuring legal use of recreational weed—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C.—are filled with zombified maniacs who spend their days feeding kids pot brownies, driving under the sticky influence, and eating the world’s supply of quesadillas. But, as we’ve learned these last few years, that’s very much not the case, in Colorado especially. In fact, The Free Thought Project compiled six ways that legal weed has made everything better, no thanks to years of the War on Drugs.
1. Violent crime is down. According to reports released by Colorado’s government, homicides have dropped by 52.9%, sexual assaults by 13.6%, robberies by 4.8%, and assaults by 3.7%.
2. Underage drug use has been reduced. Several studies, such as this one, have shown that without the damning “hey, don’t ever touch this” fever, more teenagers hold off.
3. Prescription use has decreased. With greater access to weed, more than 90% survey respondents admitted they used pharmaceuticals less frequently once they had initiated cannabis therapy, which might be why “big phrama” has typically been one of the major industries lobbying against legalization.
4. Highway car accident deaths are lower. Released by Colorado’s Department Of Transportation and published by The Washington Post, the roads are at “near-historic” safety.
5. There’s been rapid economic growth. Employers in the Centennial State have added more jobs in June of this year than any other month since 1939, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics started keep tracking of things. There’s also been substantial population growth.
6. More tax revenue is being collected from weed than booze. When its fiscal year ended on June 30th, Colorado had made way more tax revenue from marijuana than alcohol. By how much? Try $28 million more. That’s what legal weed is giving its locals.
Read The Free Thought Project’s full breakdown here.