Legalizing recreational marijuana was a bold move for Michigan voters late last year, making us only one in ten states across the US to take this controversial step. But what does that mean for Michigan’s future? Will legalizing the recreational use of weed for adults have a positive impact on the Great Lakes state in the coming years, or a negative one? The only way we could have any idea what the answer to that question will be, is to look at what happened in other states where recreational pot was legalized.
Let’s take a look at Colorado…
Since legalizing recreational marijuana use in 2011, Colorado has served as a model for the policy problems that come with legalization. Other states have looked to Colorado to see what issues they’ve grappled with, and how they’ve solved their pot problems. What’s interesting though, is the number of unexpected outcomes that Colorado has experienced, both positive and negative. These include:
- An increase in “pot” tourism, which has brought new revenue streams to the state, as people from states where weed isn’t legal come to Colorado to experience what it’s like to smoke a joint or hit a bong without the fear of legal consequences.
- An increase in the number of babies born in Colorado hospitals with THC in their bloodstreams.
- Violent crime, especially drug related crimes, have decreased
- Drug related arrests and convictions have decreased
And then there’s Oregon….
Oregon followed in Colorado’s wake, legalizing recreational weed in 2014, and their state-wide effects have been similar to those seen in Colorado. However, there are a few differences. Stats from the Beaver State also include:
- Usage rates among minors and underage users has increased
- Marijuana-related calls to local poison control centers has increased
- The state tax revenue has more than doubled what was expected from the sale of marijuana, and weed-related products
- The murder rate has gone down 13%
So what does that mean for Michigan?
Obviously, we can’t tell the future, but based on the statistics we’re seeing coming out of other states who’ve beaten us to the punch and legalized recreational weed, we can probably expect some changes. These may include:
- A decrease in violent crime, including murder and assault
- A significant decrease in pot-related crimes, arrests and convictions, which will lessen the number of people being put behind bars in Michigan every year.
- A rise in state tax revenues (which we’re hoping will benefit the infrastructure of our state.)
- The likelihood that more children and minors will be exposed to marijuana, despite the fact that the law forbids it.
Pot may be legal for adults, but drug charges are still very serious in Michigan!
Weed may have been legalized with certain restrictions in Michigan, but it’s still illegal according to federal law, so no one is “safe” just because something is legal in their state. And then there’s the fact that tolerance to pot doesn’t mean tolerance to other drugs. In fact, heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs are dangerous, and are severely punished!
So if you or a loved one have been accused of a drug-related crime in Michigan, regardless of which drug it is, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 to get help now. Our Michigan drug defense attorneys have spent decades fighting to protect the rights of people from all over the lower peninsula. We’re an experienced and aggressive team of drug crime defense attorneys, who thoroughly pursue all avenues of defense. Call us 24/7 to get the right help.