There is a new gold rush in California, a rush for the pot of gold promised by the legalization of marijuana. Although California voters rejected it in 2010, it is on the ballot again and current polls show it winning. With the 6th largest economy in the world, California’s vote is especially important.
What have we learned from the states that have already legalized marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C?
• First, it’s not quite the economic boon the states expected, with people buying on black markets or avoiding the taxes in other ways.
• More important, a Colorado report shows increases in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits, school suspensions and other legal problems, and:
• Legalization sometimes causes prices to fall and increases use and related disorders.
It’s no wonder that the California measure is opposed by law enforcement, prison officials and health groups. It’s not merely a question of freedom or lifestyle—it’s doubling down on serious societal problems.
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