5 Lies You’ve Been Told About the U.S. Legalizing Marijuana

A banner picturing a cannabis leaf and reading "legalize it" during a march for cannabis and marijuana in Paris | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

A banner picturing a cannabis leaf and reading “legalize it” during a march for cannabis and marijuana in Paris | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Marijuana legalization is no longer just a pipe dream; in several states, it’s become a reality. With several states all having passed voter-backed legalization initiatives, residents in three of those states are now free to engage in the purchase and consumption of marijuana and related products from licensed stores and retail locations. It’s a situation that would have been unimaginable just a decade or so ago.

But those political battles weren’t easy to win. There was plenty of pushback from those wishing to keep marijuana illegal, with concerted efforts coming from groups of all kinds. There were strategic messages put into play, warning voters of the potential harm legal pot could do to their communities.

Little, if any of what the doomsayers had to say, however, has come to fruition.

Marijuana legalization: So far, so good

If we take a look at what’s happened in Washington and Colorado, and to a lesser extent Oregon (where legalization is a couple of years younger), we see that not much has really changed. These states have not sunken into the sea, or become festering centers of crime and corruption. In fact, they’re doing just fine — and rolling in dough. As it turns out, many of the warnings and concerns pushed by the anti-legalization crowd turned out to be completely wrong.

With many other states looking at ending marijuana prohibition in the near future, it’s important to take a look at which predictions were off the mark. Here are five that, so far, haven’t proven to be true.