Marijuana Sales Legal January 1 in U.S. State

Marijuana Sales Legal January 1 in U.S. StateOn January 1, Colorado will be the first U.S. State to legalize over the counter cannabis sales in recreational marijuana shops. Washington will open stores by late spring of 2014.

Marijuana is behind only alcohol and tobacco in terms of popularity as a drug among Americans.

In August 2013, the U.S. Justice Department stated that it would not challenge any state that passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana, but federal law does still read that marijuana possession, manufacture, and sale is illegal and can result in life incarceration. This confusing legal situation means that two sets of laws can conceivably be applied to users in Colorado and Washington. The federal government maintains that marijuana violates federal law, but has given evidence that it will choose not to enforce the drug ban.

Recreational marijuana has been legal for adults in Colorado since November, 2012. At that time Coloradans voted yes to legalizing with 65 percent support. After January 1, 2014, however, Colorado will be the only place in the world where cannabis will be legally regulated from seed to sale.

348 retail marijuana licenses were issued in Colorado this week, 14 in Denver. All of the first businesses licensed to sell recreational marijuana were those previously licensed to sell medical marijuana.

Many additional businesses are expected to open in the first months of 2014.

Washington also legalized marijuana in 2012 after voters weighed in.

867 retail licenses for marijuana businesses have been received by Washington authorities. This 867 is part of a total of 3746 marijuana business license applications the state received.

Tourists are expected in the pot-legal states, like tourists who travel to Amsterdam for similar reasons. Some companies are offering marijuana tours. The novelty will give a big initial boost to the business idea, entrepreneurs think.

“Over the last month I have received somewhere between four to six emails a day and five to 10 phone calls a day asking all about the law and when should people plan their ski trip to go along with cannabis,” Adam Raleigh, a cannabis supply company man┬ásaid.

Some marijuana sellers predict that the sudden influx of tourism could cause marijuana shortages. Some shops are planning to install caps on how much each customer can buy after January 1.

It is predicted that the cost of marijuana will rise as demand in Colorado and Washington surges after legal sales begin, but that the cost will lower as more businesses increase the regional supply.

Medical marijuana is legal already in 19 U.S. states, pulling in $1.4 billion in 2013. 2014 is expected to be more lucrative because of the recreational market in Colorado and Washington; these two states should increase revenue 64 percent to $2.3 billion.

Legalization of marijuana has been remarked on by commentators as the biggest change in drug control policy since the end of prohibition in 1933. The change will include tax revenue, jobs, tourism, and a new, developing industry. The change will also mean that marijuana sales will be brought out of the criminal justice system and into the open.

Currently, American taxpayers pay $10 billion annually to enforce marijuana prohibition.

Retail marijuana in Colorado will be heavily taxed. It will have a 25 percent sales tax plus the three percent Colorado state tax, and some communities are planning to add more taxes. Colorado will gain $67 million in 2014. Half of that amount is already designated to build schools, according to officials.

Buyers are required to be 21 years of age, like alcohol. It is still illegal to consume in public, drive under the influence (the limit is 5 nanograms of active THC), or take marijuana across state borders. Marijuana purchase is limited to one ounce, which retails for $200 or more. Buyers from out of state will be limited to a quarter ounce after January 1 when marijuana sales become legal in Colorado state.

By Day Blakely Donaldson

Sources:

Yahoo! Finance UK

Christian Science Monitor

CNN

8 Responses to "Marijuana Sales Legal January 1 in U.S. State"

  1. chatmagnet51   February 22, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I am a 63 year old Viet Nam veteran and I have been smoking marijuana every since I was sent to the war in 1970. I have hepatitis B and I wake up with a sick stomach many mornings. I quickly found that if I start my day with a bowl of marijuana I do not vomit half the day and I can go on as a normal human being. Legalize this weed, it is time to clean out the innocent that have been filling our jails since the 30s. Legalize Marijuana!!

    Reply
  2. Day Blakely Donaldson   January 1, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Thank you Citizen and Brian Kelly. I will write on that when I have a chance, perhaps in the next few days. If you want to read it, it will be here on the Guardian, of course(, and my FaceBook links to my articles here https://www.facebook.com/dayblakely.donaldson or twitter: ).

    Al and Frank James, regarding driving, I wonder what the reaction-time delay and co-ordination measurements are with mary. Those are two of the things they measure with alcohol tests, although I will have to find out the other things they test for to compare mj with alcohol related to driving.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Reply
  3. Brian Kelly B Bizzle   January 1, 2014 at 12:33 am

    @Day Blakely Donaldson,

    Thank you and sure, check this out:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDcQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2012%2F10%2F29%2Fone-marijuana-arrest-occu_n_2041236.html&ei=jNLDUqvyN8iokQexjIH4AQ&usg=AFQjCNGZZAeJ-reUXJpgNn6rwM-ksVojyA&bvm=bv.58187178,d.eW0

    750,000 marijuana arrests per year. One Marijuana Arrest every 42 seconds.

    Reply
  4. frank james   December 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    That comment about “high driving” was silly.no worse and actually safer than the drunks cruising our streets now.i dont know what youve smoked but when i use to smoke i concentrated better.i dont condone it but would rather deal with potheads than drunks behind the wheel

    Reply
  5. Al   December 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I don’t think this will go well i can only imagine now instead of “Drunk Drivers” you will now have “High Drivers”

    Reply
  6. Citizen   December 31, 2013 at 7:38 am

    http://bit.ly/1bz2sjh

    There’s all the stats info you want on arrests.

    Reply
  7. Day Blakely Donaldson   December 30, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Brian, thank you for your comment. Your third paragraph was particularly interesting:

    The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Do you have any specific current stats for these claims? I would be interested in taking this up as a topic for reporting.

    Reply
  8. Brian Kelly B Bizzle   December 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

    Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions of more dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

    The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Marijuana is way safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    Marijuana is the safest and healthiest intoxicant known to man, with many wonderful medical benefits as well.

    Even The President of the United States himself has used marijuana. Has it hurt his chances at succeeding in life? If he had gotten caught by the police during his college years, he may have very well still been in prison today! Beyond that, he would then be fortunate to even be able to find a minimum wage job that would consider hiring him with a permanent criminal record. Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

    The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

    Reply

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