Marijuana industry advocates, critics and regulators reflect on 10-year anniversary of legalization | NewsPosted by On

Advocates and critics of the marijuana industry offered contrasting assessments of the drug 10 years after its legalization, with the former calling its decade-long existence a successful model for the rest of America, while the latter insist it has harmed Coloradans.    

Voters legalized marijuana use in 2012. Today, the industry has more than 2,500 active cannabis business licenses, including 912 retail establishment licenses. In addition, some 36,000 active occupational licenses have been issued to workers in the industry.

“Colorado’s launch of a regulated adult-use cannabis market was a major inflection point in our nation’s relationship with marijuana. It set a compelling example not only for other states, but also for countries around the globe,” said Mason Tvert, who co-directed the legalization campaign.

Luke Niforatos of Smart Approaches to Marijuana characterized the drug’s legalization as a disaster for the state. 

“We have seen an addiction-for-profit industry produce and promote stronger, more addictive drugs in order to maximize their bottom line,” he said. “From increases in traffic fatalities due to impaired drivers to more emergency department visits, Coloradans are being harmed by these drugs. Simply, the legalization of marijuana has not made Colorado a better state to live and raise a family in.”

From the industry’s viewpoint, the legalization has translated to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that is directly benefitting governments…

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