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Plans are afoot to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota. What can the experience of the 11 states which have already legalized recreational marijuana in some form tell us about the likely consequences?
On one side of the ledger are the economic benefits from legalizing an extensive black market.
The Marijuana Policy Group estimates that Minnesota stands to gain at least $1.2 billion taxable sales revenue within first 5 years of marijuana legalization and a creation of 27, 000 jobs directly or indirectly related to marijuana. The market potential is slightly smaller than that of Colorado due to small number of users in Minnesota. Overall, recreational marijuana legalization is estimated to boost Minnesota’s economy by at least $4 billion.
But there are negative consequences on the other side of the ledger.
One potential problem stemming from legalization could be increased problematic use among the youth and adults. After examining usage following the enactment of marijuana legalization in 2012 to 2015, a study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Health found that:
States with legal recreational marijuana have also seen an increase in homelessness. Colorado has additionally faced;
Marijuana legalization presents many potential problems as well as benefits. As the issue of legalization comes to the fore once more, Minnesota is fortunate that it has the examples of other states to look to.