Valdosta Daily Times

January 16, 2014

High demand in Colorado

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Since marijuana sales were legalized in Colorado at the first of the year, Internet rumors to the contrary, the only problems the state has experienced are a shortage in the supply, due to high demand, and an excess of revenues to the state’s coffers. The state has made so much money in such a short time, they are having a difficult time finding financial institutions who can handle it.

Internet urban myths spread rapidly within the first week of legalized sales, including false reports about children dying from eating the drug and numerous overdose deaths. Neither is true. So far, despite the large numbers of Coloradans purchasing the legalized drug, no major crimes or illnesses have resulted.

A CNN poll shows that around two thirds of Americans are now in favor of legalizing marijuana and striking down federal laws. The jails and court system woudn’t be overloaded with marijuana drug offenses, and those who used to grow illegally can turn their unlawful habits into legal profits.

Even in the most recent Times poll, running through today, those who favor legalization for recreational, medicinal or both purposes outnumber those who don’t, a fairly dramatic shift in attitudes. Although the minority, the no votes are still holding steady, bringing the percentage closer to a 60/ 40 split locally rather than the 75/ 25 split nationally.

With several states voting this year to offer medical marijuana, seen as a first step towards total legalization, and dozens more discussing it, it is considered only a matter of time before the federal law is overturned. This issue will have to be addressed in Georgia at some point in the not so distant future. Perhaps now is the time to be discussing it to be prepared when the time comes.

For now, all eyes remain on Colorado to see if this high is sustained or a flash in the pan, and if the benefits of legalizing small amounts counteract the dangers of allowing the illegal drug trade to continue. And no doubt the excess taxes being collected will have some impact on what may be the country’s new growth industry.