A recent study by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimated that police forces throughout Colorado spend about 4.4% of their budgets enforcing marijuana prohibition, and the judicial system spends 7% on marijuana cases every year. It is also estimated that 5-6% of all arrests in Colorado are marijuana-related, and nearly half of all drug arrests can be attributed to marijuana possession.
Voters throughout Colorado now have the option to vote to legalize marijuana use for adults and tax its sale. Oregon and Washington are also considering similar measures, but the Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to make a statement of approval or opposition to these measures. It is estimated that legalizing small amounts of marijuana will save taxpayers in Colorado around $12 million a year to start, and up to $40 million a year in later years. Not only will this measure save money in regards to taxes, but it will also cut down on the human cost of incarcerating people who are convicted of marijuana possession. Well over 500,000 arrests a year can be attributed to marijuana possession.
Amendment 64 Can Bring Marijuana Legalization to Colorado
Amendment 64 has received support from both Republicans and Democrats in Colorado, as well as former cops and other members of the law enforcement community in the state. If Amendment 64 passes, it will still be illegal for individuals to sell marijuana and sales will only be legalized by licensed businesses. A similar initiative regarding recreational pot was previously rejected by Colorado voters in 2006, but statistics show that a large percentage of bipartisan Colorado voters are on board with this new initiative.
Proponents of Amendment 64 claim that the legalization of marijuana will reduce consumers' exposure to harder drugs and their temptation to experiment with them. They also argue that Amendment 64 will bolster Colorado's economy by reducing the number of marijuana arrests and reducing taxes. Thirdly, the passage of Amendment 64 will create sustainable textures, paper, plastic, fuel and food through the production of hemp. This is possible because Amendment 64 creates separate definitions for industrial hemp and marijuana.
With 50% of Coloradans in favor of the initiative, there is a real chance that it may finally be passed. To learn more about how this Amendment will affect your rights and possibly reduce charges brought against you, call our firm today and speak with a member of our knowledgeable legal team.