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A Brief History of Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Legalization has been a continuous force for several years now and is only going to spread until it is completely legal. To start, here is a brief Tl; DR for those of you out there. Just look at this Gif here, which was the source of inspiration for this article from the subreddit /dataisbeautiful/

As you can now see, over 50% of the states in America have legalized Marijuana in one form or another, and this road has been long fought, but it will be a long battle from here on. To have a clear retrospective, we are going to look at three states and how they have gone through with Legalization.

Alaska – Back and Forth

Alaska is such a weird place, to begin with. It’s very separated form the U.S. and is closer in common with Canada than us at any given time. Because of this, Marijuana was never really illegal until the 1990’s. It remained decriminalized for a very long time and then in 1990 to 2000 it was illegal before being legalized for medicinal use.

Alaska is important for the history of marijuana legalization simply because it was a happy accident. For years Alaska kept it legit and never had trouble with people and rampant marijuana use or anything like that. But they stood for the brass overlooking of people who need and use marijuana by not villainizing people who use it.

California – Failure and Redemption

California has had a long time of tug and pulled with marijuana legalization. There was a ballot measure known as Prop 19 that was the crowning failure of marijuana legalization and probably set back progression for 20 years. What happened was this shows how poor phrasing and legal jargon can taint a bill.

First, the timing was off. This was in 1990, there were crazy drug wars going on in Los Angeles, and this also works with the villainizing of marijuana users. Some people argued legalizing weed would make it easier to combat illegal drug trade while others said that it would increase illegal activities. Ultimately it was a 5% marginal defeat for legalization which is a true shame.

Colorado – Nothing but Net

Marijuana Legalization

1975, Colorado decriminalized marijuana. 2000, medicinal marijuana is legalized. 2012, recreational marijuana is legalized.

Colorado has been pushing for legalization forever, and they were essentially the first state to do it perfectly. They did it so well that they were able to build schools and pick up public works projects due to the taxation of the policy. They truly laid the groundwork for smooth transitions and what to do with the revenue from these projects. Colorado is so beloved because they not only had the courage to legalize marijuana but the business savvy to make it a knockout success.

Where do we go from here?

More people are going to rip off Colorado’s style, and that’s a great thing. The more people that borrow a working business model and utilize it, the better it’s going to be for the populace.

For Good Measure: Marijuana Overdoses over the years.

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