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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

How Has Pot Legalization Affected Colorado?

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Forbes/Shutterstock

A new report is out detailing the effects of legalized marijuana on the state of Colorado. Forbes magazine drew some conclusions from the data.

First, and most obviously, is that less criminalization means fewer criminals. This may seem obvious, but it’s a fact that’s often overlooked. Fewer pot arrests means less money spent on prisoners. That money can now be channeled toward activities with a bigger “public safety payoff.”

Second, legal marijuana does not seem to encourage crime. Since legalization, both Colorado’s property crime rate and violent crime rate have fallen.

Third, legalization’s impact on traffic safety is murky. It’s not clear how much of a role marijuana plays in car accidents, since drivers who aren’t high can test positive for marijuana.

And fourth, legalization makes adults more likely to consume cannabis. Or maybe it just makes them just more likely to admit it.