History of Cannabis and CBD: Colorado
When Colorado first legalized marijuana for recreational use, neighboring states watched with bated breath to see what would happen. Some legislators were concerned cannabis legalization would result in increased addiction, driving accidents, and higher rates of student use.
However, this is the complete opposite of what’s actually occurred. Since full legalization in 2012, the rates of child and teenage use of cannabis has decreased over twenty perfect. Moreover, opioid use and abuse has fallen over seventeen percent.
All of this occurred while state revenue continued to climb by millions annually, driven by the high rates laced on legal cannabis products. In fact, by 2017, the government collected over $247 million in taxes, licensing fees, and other industry-specific costs.
Cannabis, CBD, and Colorado
In the early twentieth century, Colorado joined a whole host of states that opted to limit consumer access to marijuana products. By March of 1917, the prohibition movement has convinced legislators to completely bar consumer use of cannabis without a valid doctor’s prescription.
Over the decades, Colorado quickly amassed a huge wave of cannabis-related arrests, increasing prison sentences, and higher percentage of drug related arrests. By the end of the eighties, it would take extreme lobbying efforts by non-governmental institutions to convince the Colorado legislature to slow down arrests.
It would take until the year 2000 for public sentiment to start shifting. At the turn of the millennium, over 54 percent of voters supported an amendment that would allow for marijuana to be used with a doctor’s prescription.
According to the law, patients would be able to cultivate two personal plants and two ounces of cannabis at one time. Colorado was one of the earliest states to approve over twenty qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana program.
Just twelve years later, the success of the medical marijuana program would motivate the recreational marijuana legislation. Amendment 64 allowed adults over twenty-one to grow six plants.
The first year of implementation generated over 700 million in sales, prompting big pushes in neighboring states to institute recreational marijuana programs.
Over time, legalization has grown more and more extensive. Governor Jared Polies allowed for a law that let licensed companies create social marijuana spaces, such as cafes, restaurants, and other gathering places.
Colorado provides a unique case of rapid legalization, allowing other state governments to understand the potential value of full cannabis legalization. As cannabis legalization has continued to provide social benefit to the state, experts expect that marijuana law will grow increasing lax nationwide.