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Amendment 20: Case Study

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In November 2000, voters in Colorado passed Amendment 20, which enabled patients and their caregivers to obtain a restricted amount of marijuana from medical dispensaries. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment created and informal rule prohibiting caregivers from providing medical marijuana to more than 5 patients at a time and were subsequently sued for the policy by Sensible Colorado, Colorado’s medical marijuana distribution system. In 2007, Sensible won the lengthy hearing, and its victory made way for store-front dispensaries throughout Colorado. Fast forward November 2012, 55% of Colorado’s voters were pro-Amendment 64. Amendment 64 made recreational marijuana use legal to anyone age 21 or older. This law was made …show more content…
That being said, the state could potentially save $10-$40 million each year since they will no longer be prosecuting minor possession cases. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data, the overall crime rate in the state is down 10.1% from 2013, and violent crimes have decreased by 5.2%. Cannabis possession arrests were down 84% and arrests for growing and selling it were down 90%. Dispensary burglaries are at an all-time low. Law enforcement officers are setting an example of acceptable and unacceptable use of marijuana by ticketing those who use marijuana in public areas with a civil …show more content…
Studies have shown that in 2014, marijuana use among high school students have declined. Legalization has taken marijuana from the “black markets” and “back alleys” that have sometimes been known to target children, and placed it into responsible businesses and put an age limit on it. Not a single dispensary in Colorado has been found to be selling to a minor. Mason Tvert, co-director of the Amendment 64 legalization campaign states, “The drop in teen use reflects the fact that the state and local authorities have far more control over marijuana than ever before.” He argues that “Our goal should not be increasing teens’ perception of risk surrounding marijuana. It should be increasing teens’ knowledge of the actual relative harms of marijuana, alcohol, and other substances so that they can make smart decisions.” Legal marijuana means safer marijuana for those who are “just going to smoke it anyways”. In illegal states, no one can really know what is in the plant that they purchase. In some cases, users have bought marijuana laced with chemicals, which can be extremely dangerous. Cases of marijuana being laced with lead, PCP, Sildenafil (Viagra), or cocaine have occurred in nations across the world. With legalization, those producing it will be carefully watched and under examination of the law. There will be no question or fear of what the plant

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