Rolling Recreational Weed out Elsewhere

With you deciding whether to legalize marijuana in this years election, we’re taking a look at how recreational marijuana has been working in other states around the country.

Oregon was one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana. 

It has brought in a lot of money for schools, police and mental health programs, but has also raised concerns about black market sales. 

In the three years since recreational marijuana has been for sale in Oregon, tax revenues have far exceeded projections. 

The state estimated the tax would bring in $35 million a year, but it’s ballooned from $20 million to $70 million to more than $80 million with projections of $90 million next year and $100 million shortly after that. 

In some states pro pot advocates have also argued legal weed would save the state prisons money – because fewer people would be locked up.

But Oregon hasn’t seen those savings – because hardly anyone was in an Oregon prison just for marijuana: Only 20 who sold pot to kids.

Small amounts of marijuana was decriminalized in Oregon decades ago – plus, medical marijuana has been legal for 20 years – and thousands were protected from prosecution by getting their medical marijuana cards.

Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado have seen an uptick in traffic crashes since recreational pot became legal, according to an insurance industry study. 

It says crashes are up by as much as 6 percent compared with neighboring states that haven’t legalized marijuana.

The biggest concern in Oregon – black market sales.  

A state review shows there are more than 20-thousand grow sites across Oregon.

Last year only 58 were inspected.

There’s flaws in how growers are tracked.

It has the attention of federal authorities. 

“We have an identifiable and formidable marijuana overproduction and diversion problem.”  

The U.S. Attorney for Oregon says he will devote their limited resources to stopping pot from being smuggled to other states and to keeping people from selling to children – while leaving most recreational pot stores alone. 

 

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