Localities will have the mandate to ban marijuana establishments through either citizen-initiated ballot measures or through their elected representative bodies. The measure will allow law enforcement to focus on harmful and otherwise violent crimes, as opposed to adults of 21 years and above who are merely possessing marijuana in small quantities. About 15,000 citizens of Colorado are arrested for marijuana-related crimes annually, about 90% of which are for possession (Click, 2012).
In his statement to Huffington post, the co-director of the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol, Mason Tvert, claimed that decentralization inclined toward state-controlled markets will bring change to voters. “The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year on the failed marijuana prohibition policy,” Tvert said he added that the United States was founded upon the notion that states would be free to determine their own laws on matters not assigned to the federal government. “The very controlled substance Act acknowledges that Congress didn’t have the intention to have the federal government to control the entire field of marijuana policy. We hope these state-based policy debates will be respected by Obama administration,’ he stated.
Passing the bill will boost the State’s economy. According to the Associated Press, the tax revenue on marijuana could generate around 5 million to 20 million dollars annually in Colorado. Economist Christopher Stiffler of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy argues that the revenue can escalate 65 million dollars by 2017. He adds that a windfall of about 10 million dollars in immediate savings will occur in the year following the 64 amendment because of reduced legal prison and court costs. As compared to a pre-legalization year’s budget, the annual savings will approach almost 50 million dollars once