A year after marijuana legalisation in Colorado, 'everything's fine' confirm police

Crime has only fallen in Denver

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The Independent US

It's been a year since Colorado became the first state in the US to legalise marijuana, and its impact on health, crime, employment and other factors can now be more empirically measured.

So, did it bring about an apocalypse leaving the streets strewn with out-of-work addicts as some Republicans feared?

"We found there hasn't been much of a change of anything," a Denver police officer told CBC this week.

"Basically, officers aren't seeing much of a change in how they do police work."

Not only has the legalisation of cannabis not come with a rise in crime, it has also created thousands of jobs, as tourists flock to the city's 60+ marijuana outlets.

A local newspaper even appointed its first cannabis critic in April.

"So the sky isn't falling?" a CBC reporter asked the officer. "The sky isn't falling," he replied.

Impaired driving, property crime and violent crime were all dropping in Denver prior to legalisation, and the trend has only continued. Even drug use among young people is down, the report claims.

The state has collected $60 million in tax revenue from sales of the drug meanwhile, $4 million of which has been plugged back into the city through new programmes brought in by its mayor (who remains anti-legalisation).

Colorado's unprecedented move led to Washington, Alaska and Oregon voting for legalisation, and this week a bill was filed to legalise it in New York.

Cannabis remains a Class B drug in the UK, carrying a prison sentence for possession of up to five years.