Remember all of the doomsday scenarios that marijuana opponents offered up leading up to the legalization vote in Colorado in 2012? There would be mayhem and death on public roadways, social costs would be ten times the tax revenue generated by marijuana legalization, and teen use of marijuana would grow exponentially. Those were a few of the ones that stuck in my mind.
Unfortunately for marijuana opponents, and fortunately for society and logical reasoning, none of those claims panned out. Colorado has seen traffic fatalities reduce to historic lows, social costs are no where near ten times tax revenues (still waiting on that data Kevin Sabet!), and teen use actually decreased since Colorado legalized. That pesky sky just refuses to fall over Colorado, no matter what marijuana opponents try to do.
Another claim made by marijuana opponents was that Colorado voters, if they approved legalization, would come to regret the decision not too long after legalization was implemented. That claim, too, has been proven wrong. Per the Denver Post:
More than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election on Amendment 64 — the measure allowing adults to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent — said they would vote the same way today.
“I’d say there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially if the priority is to keep it out of the hands of children and away from drivers, to make sure people are not driving intoxicated,” said Dan Berlau, a 35-year-old poll respondent from Denver who voted for legalization and would do so again. “But despite those shortcomings, in general, people who worried the sky would fall have been proved wrong.”
I have yet to see marijuana opponents try to spin this news in their favor. I’d imagine we will never see it happen, because this is tough news to swallow if you are a marijuana opponent. Legalize it!