He added that wealthier states, such as Colorado, could more easily handle the alleged detriment of legal weed. “ Instead, Pearce meant that wealthier states like Colorado have more resources “to pay for more drug addiction, more jails, and more law enforcement,” says Christensen. Rather, tax money from legal weed could help fund more drug education and addiction treatment. Drugpolicy.org/emily-kaltenbach” target=” blank”>Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “
But aside from those projected economic benefits, is there any truth to the assumption that states with fewer financial resources will have a harder time with legalizing weed? “There’s no obvious reason a poor state is better positioned to maintain prohibition – which costs public resources – than a rich state,” says Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, who helped Washington State develop their own cannabis regulations. He adds, “a poorly run state might do worse in terms of regulation. “
At a glance, most of the canna-legal states hail from the But, he adds, once some states have legalized, that undermines the benefits of prohibition elsewhere, partly because cannabis can be relatively easy to smuggle across state lines, arguably making maintaining prohibition more expensive. “So we should expect most states to legalize after there is national legalization, he says. “That is, although some states may remain ‘dry,’ I think most will be wet within ten or so years after national legalization.”
The eventual decline of federal prohibition will also lower the production costs of cannabis overall, Caulkins surmises, which would give poorer states a more competitive advantage. “So a poor state might well decide to offer zero taxes and very little regulation in order to woo the industry away from states like California and Colorado,” he says. “Unless foreign suppliers with even lower labor costs displace current production modes entirely to offshore locations, leaving only mechanized”industrial” forms of production in the United States.
However, legalization in the state cannot succeed through the legislature if the governor were to block a bill.