Legalization Hasn’t Hurt or Helped Colorado as Much as Predicted


An unexpected result of Colorado’s legalization of limited marijuana sales for recreational purposes has been a rise in the number of academic studies about whether the change has been good or bad for the state. A few months ago, a paper released by the Brookings Institution found that the rollout was succeeding. But a new analysis by a Harvard economist, released under the auspices of the Cato Institute, offers a more mixed view: It suggests that the nightmares predicted by critics haven’t come to pass, but neither have many of the benefits foreseen by advocates of reform.

The author of “Marijuana Policy in Colorado” is Jeffrey Miron, the Cato Institute’s director of economic studies. The document is classified as a working paper, meaning that it’s in-process research being circulated to spark comment and debate.
Prior to legalization taking effect on January 1 of this year, Miron was among those who thought the move could have numerous positive economic effects. As seen in an April 2013 video shared by Cato and on view below, he mentions among several examples the possibility of law enforcement resources previously used for marijuana interdiction being freed up for other purposes.
In the paper, however, Miron stops well short of boosterism.
Read the entire report at the Denver Westword.