Earth & Conservation

How Has Marijuana Legalization Affected Colorado?

State officials issue the first report on teen use, arrest rates and more.

<p>Photo: Jeffrey Beall // Flickr</p>

A recent report from the Colorado Department of Public Safety assessed various effects of marijuana legalization in the state. According to Vox, there have been a mix of good and not-so-good consequences from the legislation.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, it was legal in the state of Colorado for adults (21 and up) to purchase marijuana for recreational use -- no medical prescription required. Many are looking at Colorado as a testing ground for future legalization.

Has it increased the number of DUI's? What about marijuana-related hospitalizations? Financially-speaking, how has the state benefited?

Here are some highlights:

This comes not long after the DEA's announcement that it may re-classify marijuana, which the federal government currently holds in the same category as heroin. This year, as many as 20 states could vote to follow Colorado and legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Top photo: Cannabis station, a medical marijuana dispensary, is located at the site of a former gas station at 20th Avenue and Lawrence Street in Denver, Colorado. (Jeffrey Beall / Flickr)