As lovers of freedom, we need to set something straight with some of the old fuddy-duddies out there: Making medicinal plants illegal is a bad way to spur economic growth.
Sure, some of us are not all that into pot. The use of the plant can be a bit disorienting and uncomfortable, and it doesn’t make for the most productive evening, however, for those who do choose to use it recreationally, what are we truly worried about?
Likely, the innate fear of marijuana comes from the consequences of use, the worst of which is facing legal trouble. In Colorado, where they took the “legal trouble” out of the equation, responsible adults are learning for themselves how to interact or not interact with the plant – and exercising their newfound freedom in droves.
While there are plenty of incredible economic statistics that can be cited to demonstrate the massive financial influx of Colorado’s groundbreaking legislation, a newly unearthed figure is absolutely astounding.
“There was plenty of green to go around among Aspen’s marijuana dispensaries in 2017, and more than enough to top liquor stores in revenue, as well.
“Legal-pot purveyors hauled in $11.3 million in revenue last year compared with $10.5 million for liquor stores, marking the first time marijuana sales outpaced booze for the year in Aspen. The figures were provided Wednesday by the city’s Finance Department in its year-end sales tax report for 2017, which showed Aspen’s retailers combined to generate $730.4 million in revenue, 2 percent better than 2016.
“Cannabis revenue last year also marked a 16 percent improvement over 2016, which produced $9.7 million in sales. Of Aspen’s 12 retail sectors, the marijuana industry also enjoyed the biggest rate of growth last year. Liquor store sales were flat between 2016 and 2017, according to the city’s’ report.”
Furthermore, these sort of meaningful legal changes can have a profound affect on entrepreneurship and small business in the state, bringing bright young people like Matt Kind into the world of community development.
“‘I think it’s meaningful for a couple of reasons,’ said Matt Kind, a Boulder entrepreneur and host of the CannaInsider podcast. ‘One in particular is when people are visiting Aspen and adjusting to a high altitude, some don’t drink for that first couple of days. And I think people are looking for something different from alcohol, which is essentially poison, and marijuana is botanical. I don’t say that with judgment, but you feel some lingering effects with alcohol.'”
Unfortunately for the U.S., Attorney General Jeff Sessions is precisely one of those fuddy-duddies we mentioned earlier, having now rolled back decrees meant to protect individual states from federal enforcement of arcane and detrimental laws regarding marijuana both recreationally and medicinally.