Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: One-Year Status Report


Since the first retail marijuana stores opened on January 1st, 2014, the state of Colorado has benefitted from a decrease in crime rates, a decrease in traffic fatalities, an increase in tax revenue and economic output from retail marijuana sales, and an increase in jobs.

Key Facts

  • According to data from the Colorado Court System, marijuana possession arrests have dropped 84% since 2010.
  • According to data released by the city of Denver, violent crime and property crime in Denver decreased in 2014.
  • Data released by the state Department of Revenue reveal that tax revenue from retail marijuana sales amounted to $40.9 million between January 2014 and October 2014, not including revenue from medical marijuana and licenses and fees.
  • Traffic fatalities went down in 2014, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Transportation, challenging claims that the legalization of marijuana would lead to an increase in traffic fatalities. 
  • Colorado has the fastest growing economy in the United States, and Colorado’s unemployment rate is at a six-year low.
  • The state has allocated more than $8 million in retail marijuana tax revenue for youth prevention and education, mental health and communitybased developmental programs.
Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
Reforming Marijuana Laws
Wasteful Spending