Legalize It: Nation’s Marijuana Industry Burns On Despite Major Drug Busts

Denver is scheduled to air its first marijuana commercial on Monday, July 20, and the nation’s budding pot industry couldn’t be happier, despite recent high-profile drug busts.

With recreational marijuana use legalized in four states and the District of Columbia, and ten other states considering it, the newly minted industry is slowly being accepted by the general public.

Legalizing marijuana has been beneficial every time, according to every available indicator, and the once black market industry has now gone mainstream and is valued at $3 billion.

A new study by UC Irvine suggests the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana has even gone a long way toward saving lives. The study found states with marijuana dispensaries had significantly fewer deaths caused by overdosing on prescription medicines.

Critics say these dispensaries bring an undesirable element to their cities, but research suggests patients benefit from switching their prescription meds to weed.

Meanwhile, one year after legalizing recreational marijuana, Denver has reported a decrease in violent crime and an increase of $40 million in tax revenue.

The state will also soon open the nation’s first 170-acre marijuana-friendly outdoor summer camp, CannaCamp. Although the camp won’t dispense marijuana it will maintain a pot friendly atmosphere with weed-friendly activities.

In Oregon, which just legalized recreational marijuana earlier this month, the marijuana industry made its largest political donation ever in the amount of $100,000 to support Rep. Early Blumenauer.

The industry’s budding success comes despite highly-publicized drug busts, which paint the marijuana crowd in a bad light.

Friday, police in San Jose, California, seized $16 million in marijuana plants, two handguns, and arrested one man during a raid on a marijuana farm in use for the third time.

The police action forced a nearby park to close and dislocated a children’s summer camp.

That’s after police seized 100,000 marijuana plants in Humboldt County during what officials described as the raid of the decade.

That’s not as bad as the $60 million in marijuana plants seized by police in Erath County, Texas. The raid, which netted 10,000 marijuana plants, is the largest in recent memory, according to the sheriff’s office.

Despite these events tarnishing the reputation of the marijuana industry, the newly budded business are in full bloom.

If you’re interested in seeing the nation’s first ever marijuana commercial tune into ABC affiliate KMGH on July 20 at 10:35 p.m. right before Jimmy Kimmel Live.

[Photo by Chris Hondros/David McNew/Getty Images]