from the tax-not-war dept.
It's now been six months since Colorado enacted its historic marijuana legalization policy, and two big things have already happened:
Colorado's cash crop is turning out to be even more profitable than the state could have hoped.
Tax revenue from marijuana sales is expected to top $130M over the next fiscal year.
Denver crime rates have suddenly fallen.
The Denver city- and county-wide murder rate has dropped 52.9% year-to-year since recreational marijuana use was legalized in January.
A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.
- 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
- $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
- 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
- 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
- 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war
The article goes into further details on the number, including:
On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.
In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".
Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.