New Poll: Colorado Voters Believe Legal Marijuana Good for the Economy

Photo by Dan Skye

The majority of Colorado residents believe the legal cannabis trade has been a positive influence on the state’s economy, according to a new poll published earlier this week.

It seems Colorado voters are mostly optimistic about their decision to approve a taxed and regulated marijuana market in 2012. A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that an impressive 61 percent of the state’s voting public is currently happy with its decision to end prohibitionary times, with those folks saying legal weed has had a positive impression on the economy. But there is some buyer’s remorse—36 percent of the respondents said they would repeal Amendment 64 if given the opportunity.

The latest data shows that the legalization of marijuana can strengthen the economy by creating a wealth of new jobs. The survey shows that one out of every four Colorado residents has a personal connection to someone currently earning a living through the cannabis market.

“Coloradans can see that regulating marijuana works,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, told HIGH TIMES in a statement. “Voters approved Amendment 64 because they wanted marijuana to be controlled and taxed similarly to alcohol, and that is exactly what is taking place. It’s pretty clear that any proposal to repeal it and revert back to prohibition would go down in flames.”

“The folks who are trying to keep marijuana illegal in this country tell a lot of scary stories and spread a lot of myths about Colorado,” Tvert added. “If you ask a typical Colorado voter, you’re likely to hear a more positive and realistic account of how things are going.”

Five states—Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada—are getting ready to put ballot measures similar to Amendment 64 in front of voters in the upcoming November election. These measure allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated in a manner similar to beer for adults 21 and over—something that Colorado officials worried at first would bring about apocalyptic times.

But none of their concerns have posed a threat.

“Opponents of Amendment 64 told voters the state would fall apart if they approved Amendment 64, but they could not have been more wrong,” Tvert said. “They said it would hurt the economy, but the economy is booming.

They said it would hurt tourism, but we have more visitors spending more money than ever. They said the rate of teen use would increase, but state officials confirm it has not. And they said it wouldn’t actually raise any tax revenue, but it has already exceeded expectations and generated tens of millions of dollars for schools and other important programs.”

Although the poll did not ask the respondents about health and public safety issues associated with legalization, Governor John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, said earlier this year that the state has not experienced any of the debauchery initially predicted would come into the picture by legalizing marijuana.

“It’s beginning to look like it might work,” he said.

For all the latest news on marijuana legalization, click here.

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