The legalization of marijuana in America is, surprisingly, one of the biggest topics researched and talked about on a daily basis. Years ago, about twenty states passed laws allowing marijuana to be used but for medical purposes only. Recently, Colorado and Washington legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for non-medicinal purposes. Causing both states to get major publicity and coverage than normal by both the press and regular civilians. Businesses are prospering and both states have become somewhat a tourist attraction.
What should tourist know before visiting?
Everything! Yes, marijuana is legal. Yes, nonresidents of both states can legally purchase up to a quarter of an ounce of marijuana but there are still laws that prohibit you from just lighting up anywhere after making your purchase. First and foremost, like alcohol, you have to be 21 years of age to purchase or possess marijuana. Marijuana can only be purchased from licensed retailers approved by either state’s department of revenue. Marijuana cannot be used in public, only on private property—if the owner allows it. Marijuana cannot be brought and taken out of state. It’s actually banned at airports and other transportation stations. Not to mention, there’s an additional 10 percent sales tax included to the state’s set sale tax. Do not abuse marijuana. Use marijuana wisely and in a controlled environment. Also, like alcohol, do not use it while driving. DUIs apply to the use of marijuana while driving.
How has marijuana legalization helped?
Marijuana will easily surpass Colorado’s annual alcohol sales taxes of $40 million. It’s already generated millions of tax revenue, and the year is not even halfway through. Warehouses have been created, offering more jobs to their residents. Dozens of other marijuana-related businesses have been created and are hitting the ground running to the point where other states are starting to take notice.
Are other states thinking about legalizing marijuana?
Not just yet, many states are taking baby steps in that direction though. Few have already begun the process to try to legalize medicinal marijuana for those who need it. Alaska may have a chance to be the next to legalize recreational marijuana after petitioning and gathering more than 45,000 supporting signatures. Which can be pushed for a vote in August. Other than that, Colorado and Washington are the only current states where you can successfully purchases and possess marijuana.