by sgrup2 on February 17, 2014 - 11:43pm
“Legally Green” by Suzanne Weiss discusses the laws of both Colorado and Washington adopted for legalizing marijuana and how each state was successful in bringing forth this new law. Weiss also describes how legalizing marijuana will become a more common thing in the future. Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Since they are the first states to implicate this new law there was a lot of thought into how this was going to work. One of the biggest provisions of this new law was getting the legislature to propose an excise tax to the voters. This revolutionary law also prompted major changes to Amendment 64: that use of marijuana is illegal in all senses. Some of these changes include, amending the current laws of marijuana, and clarifying the impact of marijuana in the workplace. Washington approved Initiative 502, which demanded for the removal of criminal sanctions who are 21 years or older and processed 1 oz. or less of pot. It also says that you cannot home grow or sell marijuana. The new Washington law says 40% goes to state general fund and local budgets but the rest goes to education, health care, and substance abuse programs. Colorado enforces Amendment 64 which states you can buy marijuana of 1 oz. if you are 21 years or older. Unlike Initiative 502, you can home grow 6 or less pot plants. With the first $40 million in revenue raised it is going directly into the public school system fund. Weiss predicts that the trend for legalizing marijuana will increase as younger voters start to immerse. Already, 58% of voters favor the legalization of pot.
The main point Weiss is trying to imply is marijuana will become more common and will benefit the society. She made a point to say that much of the earnings from the legalization will benefit the society. For example she stated much of the fund would go to education in the state. She also implied that for specifically the Washington law, 60% of the earnings would go to education, health care, and substance abuse programs. (Weiss, 2013) She also implies how the excise taxes will increase profit for the state. Legalization of marijuana will also bring tourists wanting to smoke, which will also lead to a higher profit for restaurants and hotels in the cities of Washington and Colorado. Weiss mainly wants you to see how the new laws in Colorado and Washington have positively affected the states. By increasing the revenue in each state from legalization of this drug, many other opportunities are opened for the public. It can also help the community because there is no longer a black market for the plant, instead the state can regulate it and also tax it. This can help decrease violence of drug dealing and can keep the communities safer.(Weiss, S. (2013, Feburary). Legally green. State Legislatures, 39(2), 14-18)