PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Arguably, the legalization of marijuana has gone well for the state of Colorado.
“Well the industry has brought in upwards of $200 million. The state has taxed and brought in probably about $18-, $19-, $20 million of that in tax revenue. So the industry is up and running and things are robust to a large degree. Not only is the industry robust itself, but the regulations around it are robust and the state is leading the way,” says Art Way, the Senior Drug Policy Manager for the Colorado Drug Policy Alliance. Way also said Colorado has seen reductions in crime and traffic accidents.
As more states are looking into legalizing marijuana, more and more questions are being asked across the country.
What about those who were incarcerated for possession of marijuana before it was legalized? Companies that are looking into the business of selling marijuana legally are going to need employees, and those who were hurt by marijuana prohibition may be ousted. If you have a felony, whether it be non-violent or not, that can cause problems when trying to attain any job.
Way tells Chris Moore he and his organization are trying to change that.
“Policymakers should think about this issue and do their best to ensure that the regulations around background checks and criminal history doesn’t kick out a lot of the very same people that were hurt by marijuana prohibition,” he said.
Colorado now allows felons discharged up to three years to become employed by a company selling legal marijuana.
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Chris Moore can be heard every Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.