is now legal in Colorado and how long will it be before its sales become legal throughout the United States?
Treated similarly to alcohol and tobacco, its sales could be a revenue producer for the public sector. Its sales were legal in the United States until the 1930s. Like alcohol, the presumption is that those involved in accidents or illegal behavior under the influence of marijuana would have fines to pay and penalties to bear.
The drug is known to be addictive. Of course tobacco, to some extent alcohol and even the caffeine we drink in coffee and tea are addictive too.
Is marijuana a step-up drug, one that leads to consumption of more addictive and destructive drugs like heroin and crack? There is some evidence to support that. Also, there is evidence that marijuana can harm brain development in those under age of 25. Supporters of legality argue it would free up the time of law enforcement agencies so they could concentrate on the more serious drugs.
Colorado, while permitting sales, will not allow smoking of marijuana in public places, but, of course, smoking of tobacco in public places is not permitted in many states, too.
One advantage Ohio will have in the marijuana debate should there ever be one, is that we are waiting to see the effects of legalizing the drug in Colorado. The benefit of not being first is substantial and this is one issue in which we are glad to see Ohio sitting back, not ready to take the lead.