In 2014, Colorado made history by becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. The government’s main reason was to tax and regulate a widely consumed drug while driving out traffickers and dealers in the process. This move has either worked as intended or failed miserably, depending on which side of the fence you sit.
Recently, the state announced that it had realized over a billion dollars in marijuana-related revenue. Cannabis-related companies are smiling all the way to the bank, too. By the look of things, legalization was a masterstroke. However, it is not all good news, and there are some downsides to marijuana legalization, as detailed below.
The black market is booming
Marijuana may not be illegal in Colorado, but it is in some of her neighboring states. This has led to a thriving network of underworld criminal organizations that fuel the back market as they smuggle cannabis into surrounding states to sell at a higher price. Such illicit marijuana is now being grown in warehouses, rental homes, and even on forested land, leaving communities worried about what the future holds.
Traffickers have also seen increased business as people shy away from visiting marijuana dispensaries, sometimes due to the higher cost compared to the local dealers. To some, legalization has amplified some of the problems it was trying to resolve.
Marijuana laws are constantly changing
Colorado’s law on the recreational use of marijuana is constantly evolving. For instance, you are allowed to be in possession of a maximum of 28g of marijuana. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law by going over the allowed limits, you may still end up facing drug charges for cannabis.
In that case, all your focus should be geared towards fighting the charges against you since things can escalate pretty quickly when it comes to such serious crimes.