When the first marijuana shops opened in Colorado in 2014, the state became the de facto capital of the United States’ newest legal industry.
The Centennial State has always been a place of pioneers, and being the first to take this step only reinforced that.
The decision wasn’t without its opponents, however.
Some feared it would lead to the majestic mountain views being obscured by a perennial cloud of pungent smoke, an outbreak of mass slothfulness among the area’s youth, a Taco Bell on every street corner, and every sentence from now on ending in dude.
While it’s still too soon to say for sure these people were wrong, there are encouraging early signs.
Take, for example, the high school leavers (that’s high-school leavers, not high school-leavers) in Pueblo County who are receiving college scholarships paid for by marijuana tax money.
To continue the pioneer theme, it’s another nationwide first.
One of the beneficiaries, Colorado State University freshman Janet Calzadillas, told CBS Denver “I don’t think without this scholarship I could continue my education without taking out loans and worrying about how to pay it back.”
Pueblo County began accepting applications for the marijuana-funded scholarships in February.
Every high school graduate will qualify for one, making constructive use of money that would once have fueled criminal empires instead.
The Colorado marijuana industry is worth $1.3 billion and its benefits are seen all over the state.
The town of Edgewater counts 20 percent of its total sales tax from marijuana sales.
It plans to spend a portion of it repaving 12 miles of streets and replacing the old city hall with a $10 million new build.
The project, which is due to be finished by 2018, will also include a library and police station.
Support for legalizing marijuana nationwide is higher than ever, according to a poll by CBS News.
61% of Americans, up from 56% last year, think marijuana use should be legalized, while 88% are in of favor medical marijuana use.
Colorado is leading the way with cannabis-funded college scholarships and the upgrading of local infrastructure.
It appears the American public are increasingly wanting to follow suit.
via CBS News | Image Pixabay