After three years of legal weed, a look at the impact and the return on Arizona’s investment
PHOENIX, Ariz.—Arizona’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2020 has had a positive impact on the state, according to recent data. The state has become one of the latest to join the growing list of states that have legalized recreational marijuana, and the results have been promising.
According to the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR), the state has collected over $1.6B in tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana since the implementation of the adult-use program. The revenue generated from this has been used to fund important state programs such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
This increase in revenue has also led to the creation of new jobs in the state. According to Leafly, the state added more than 2,600 new jobs in the cannabis industry in the first year of the program alone.
Additionally, the legalization of recreational marijuana has resulted in a significant drop—89% to be exact—in arrests related to marijuana possession. This reduction in arrests has helped to alleviate some of the pressure on the criminal justice system and has saved taxpayers money.
The legalization of recreational marijuana has also had a positive impact on the medical marijuana industry in the state. The number of medical marijuana patients in the state has increased by 24% since the legalization of recreational marijuana. This increase in patients has helped to expand the medical marijuana industry and provide access to more patients who need it.
Furthermore, the legalization of recreational marijuana has helped to reduce the number of opioid-related deaths in the state. According to a report by the Journal of the Science Daily, states that have legalized recreational marijuana have seen a 20-35% reduction in opioid-related deaths. This reduction in deaths can be attributed to the fact that many patients are turning to marijuana as a safer alternative to opioids for pain relief.
Despite initial opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana, the recent survey results have shown that it has been a boon for the state. As more states continue to legalize recreational marijuana, it is clear that the benefits of legalization are far-reaching and impactful.