Road to Legalization: Many factors, including tax revenue, led to marijuana legalization (Gazette)

By Carol McGraw | April 28, 2014

Medical marijuana grows in a greenhouse outside Divide, Colo. Thursday, September 5, 2013. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

Colorado and Washington became the first places to legalize recreational marijuana when, in 2012, voters removed prohibition and allowed for-profit companies to produce, distribute and sell a substance that is illegal at the federal level.

“What happened in Colorado and Washington was historic,” said Beau Kilmer, co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center. “It’s the first legalization in the world. A lot of people think it was legalized in the Netherlands. But it is illegal there. They just don’t enforce the law there.”

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