If you haven’t heard, Tuesday night Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, and Washington quickly followed suit. Massachusetts also passed marijuana for medical purposes, proving the night to be a historical one for de-penalization and anti-prohibition fans everywhere.
Allen St. Pierre, NORML’s executive director wrote:
The citizens of Colorado, Washington and Massachusetts delivered game changing victories last night for the nearly fifty year-old cannabis law reform Movement. Massachusetts becomes the eighteenth state to pass legal protections for qualified medical patients who’ve cannabis recommended to them by a physician. Colorado and Washington become the first places in the world, ever, where citizens have cast votes to reject cannabis prohibition, and replace the failed public policy with alternatives like tax-n-regulate models (similar to the control and taxation models widely accepted for alcohol and tobacco product use by adults).
Thus, the new laws beg the questions:
1) what will this do to the local economies in Washington and Colorado?
2) how will the Mass law affect other major states on the Eastern seaboard?
3) is it time to buy real estate in Colorado or Washington?
Certainly, flocks of marijuana advocates are likely to plan trips to Colorado and Washington, in lieu of other potential destinations out West. Tourism is likely to increase, along with the other perks that go with it – restaurants, parties, concerts (just think what a Toots and the Maytalls concert would be like in CO at this point), art.
As for Massachusetts, once the other behemoth states along the Eastern seaboard such as New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia observe the amount of tax dollars that flow into the state treasuries from the sale of medical marijuana – is it inevitable that at least a few of these states will pass similar legislation? Now that the first state in New England has transitioned, it seems also inevitable that Maine, VT, and possibly NH will also follow suit.
It remains to be seen the ultimate economic and social effects that these new laws will have on Washington and Colorado, but the PartyBlog believes that such activity and legalization will be a major economic boon to those states. Further, the social and/or legal consequences are likely overblown, and much of the resistance is based on faulty impressions that have been fed to the American people through governing individuals with questionable political motives (such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, champions of the “War on Drugs” and prohibition, but likely for the positive consequences upon garnering votes and political capital, as the social and fiscal costs of such prohibition efforts have outweighed the benefits in the short and long run).
As the “first actors,” Colorado and Washington will be the quickest to leverage a positive reputation as weed-friendly. This will result in attracting new residents, new businesses built around the product, other supporting/complimentary industries, and the tourism that logically flows therefrom.
Furthermore, the laws are written so that local communities can prohibit the sale and distribution, preventing “weed” bars from popping up all over the state or next to schools, for example. With all of the upcoming tourism and resultant activity that is likely to flow in these “weed-friendly” cities around Colorado and Washington, the PartyBlog can’t help but assume that is a good time to buy real estate there, to beat the “Jamaican Gold” rush.