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The first ten months of 2016 marked a historic moment for the legalized cannabis industry as Colorado Cannabis shops reached a milestone of a $1 billion in regulated, legal cannabis sales.
New October data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that recreational and medical cannabis shops in Colorado have sold over $1.1 billion worth of marijuana products so far this year.
This total eclipses last year’s sales figures which fell just shy of the billion dollar mark at $996 million.
The state of Colorado was the first American state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 with the passing of the Colorado Amendment 64.
The state had previously decriminalized the drug in 1975 and allowed medical use of cannabis upon prescription in the year 2000.
Marijuana retailers in the state reported record sales in the month of September 2016 when marijuana sales hit an all-time high in Colorado.
$82.8 million worth of marijuana was peddled at retailers in the month of October along with $35 million more in medical sales.
These figures marked a 46% cumulative year upon year increase for October.
The state government has collected over $151 million in taxes from legal Marijuana sales. Three different taxes are imposed on recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado – the standard 2.9 percent sales tax, a special 10 percent sales tax, and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers of which the first $40 million is earmarked for school construction projects.
ArcView Group, a research firm which specializes in the Cannabis industry, estimates that the legal marijuana industry in the United States could reach a figure of $22 Billion in total annual sales by the year 2020.
It is important to note, however, that the drug remains illegal on a federal level although it has been voted into legalization by several states. It remains to be seen how President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration will deal with the issue of marijuana legalization.
Although Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, three more states of Alaska, Oregon and Washington have also launched legalization programs of their own.
Last month, voters in California, Maine, Nevada and Massachusetts have all voted in favor of legalized recreational pot. Medical Marijuana is also legal in 28 states.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 39
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They sleep quietly, waiting in plain sight to be spotted or recognized.
Humans treated inhumanely out of ignorance, discomfort, or fear.
They see everything and yet everything overlooks them; they are the homeless of America.
In an article in The Atlantic, Stephen Lurie references a recent Gallup poll stating that, “just 2 percent of respondents said that the category of “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness” constituted “the most important problem facing this country today.”
It is easy to say that homelessness is a sad and important issue in this country, but it is another thing to actually prioritize the lives of those in need.
We as a country do not take care of homeless people.
People are not interested in statistics regarding the homeless.
isidewith.com’s homepage for the most important topics of 2016 does not even include homelessness as a prioritized topic.
So does the country just simply not care about those in need, or is there a different problem in place?
Carey Fuller of the Huffington Post put it best stating that, “homelessness isn’t an invisible problem; it’s a highly ignored and marginalized problem which ends up making the problem worse for homeless people.”
We aren’t afraid to admit that there is a significant problem of homelessness in this country, but we are terrified to feel any form of personal responsibility for a homeless person.
A capitalist society often causes a perception that those in bad situations are responsible for their misfortunes.
The whole, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ideal is one that many Americans believe in, even if they themselves never had to do so in order to find success.
The problem isn’t always the homeless individual; the problem is a government and a society that does not see that individual as an equal American.
The problem is a system that is put in place to make rich people richer and poor people poorer.
A very famous video of a 2011 study at Harvard explained that 90 percent of Americans believe that economic wealth should be more equally distributed than they perceive it to be now.
Another part of the video plays into this idea describing the “American Dream”, and that people need motivation to work hard in order to achieve success and “keep our country moving forward”.
WATCH: Wealth Inequality In America
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So maybe that’s it? Maybe it is easy to disregard the homeless because they are not perceived as helpful members of society?
Well then let’s look at the numbers for this idea: Green Doors explained that the homeless visit emergency rooms more frequently and stay in hospitals for a longer period of time.
Here is what their study showed: “Each visit [for the homeless] costs $3,700; that’s $18,500 spent per year for the average person and $44,400 spent per year for the highest users of emergency departments.”
Moyers & Company published an article that found it costs $21,000 more to “ignore the homeless than it does to give them homes”.
These numbers come from the cost of medical attention, incarceration, shelters, etc.
So clearly this idea that leaving these people homeless is a cheaper option that actually fixing the problem is widely inaccurate.
The proven truth, is that helping the homeless find a permanent home is much more successful than ignoring them.
An NPR article declared that Utah reduced their chronic homeless population by 91 percent after instating their Housing First initiative.
The Utah solution focuses on putting people in stable housing situations first before dealing with other service needs. And people put into these homes are expected to pay monthly rent for them. But the mix of refocusing priorities and demanding accountability seems to have worked.
Granted, Utah is much smaller than states with a greater homeless population, but their work still proves that solving this problem can be done, and it can benefit everyone.
Personally dealing with the homeless on a day-to-day basis should not resemble an obstacle course of averting eye contact and speeding up ones pace when walking by someone; but it does, and it always will.
The only way to deal with the homeless and represent “American ideals” is to make poverty a prioritized topic, and create national conversation that works towards helping these individuals in a permanent and meaningful way.
If an individual can succeed of the help from family inheritance and support, homeless can and should be allowed to succeed with the help of the country’s support.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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College campuses across the country are at the center of a national conversation on race after a mass student movement forced the resignation of two top level administrators at the University of Missouri.
Read More: PEOPLE POWER- Mizzou System President Resigns After 7 Day Campus Hunger Strike, Football Team Strike
At the University of Alabama, three African-American students have come together to tell their story about what it is like being black on a college campus. The result is a powerful video that sheds insight into how life can really be for some students in America.
The video titled, “How Does it Feel to be a Problem” was published earlier today on Vimeo by the director Patrick Maddox.
“In his 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois discusses continually being asked in indirect ways, ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’,” a description for the video reads. “Three African American seniors at the University of Alabama– AJ James, Amanda Bennett, and Elliot Spillers– came together to answer that question.”
WATCH: Powerful video explaining what life is like as a black student on the University of Alabama campus.
Spillers was elected student government president last year- the first black SGA president at Alabama since the mid 1970s.
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Cover Photo Credit: Patrick Maddox/ Vimeo (Screenshot)Post Views: 41
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