Researchers found that legalizing marijuana had a positive impact on the economy of Pueblo County, Colo. In a landmark report out of the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research, researchers found that a taxed and regulated cannabis industry contributed more than $58 million to the local economy, reports The Denver Post.
But lawmakers should be wary of legalizing marijuana solely for the potential economic benefits. Colorado’s first “marijuana czar” Andrew Freedman, who now consults for governments on legalization matters, has repeatedly warned against legalization for the purpose of generating tax revenue.
As he told me in an interview in 2016: “At the end of the day, the debate shouldn’t be about tax revenue. ‘Should we lock up fewer people for marijuana?’ vs. ‘Is this going to create more of a burden on public safety?’—that’s where the debate should be.”