NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When the clock struck midnight on Wednesday, Oregon joined Colorado, Alaska and Washington in legalizing recreational marijuana use. Hundreds of Oregonians took to the streets and gathered on the Burnside Bridge in downtown Portland and, at the appointed hour, got high.
The people of Oregon have always had kind of a reputation for being marijuana enthusiasts, so it really came as no surprise when Measure 91 passed this past November with 56% of the vote. The law states that adults 21 and older can legally possess up to eight ounces of marijuana inside their homes and up to one ounce outside; it states as well that those 21 and older can grow up to four marijuana plants per household, as long as it's out of public view. You can learn more in this video by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission:
Oregon now seems poised to capitalize on the same benefits that states like Colorado have seen since recreational marijuana became legal back in 2012. Here is some data from Colorado, just over a year in to its own experiment with legalization:
-- Decreases in crime of as much as 10% or more.
-- Higher tax revenue. Colorado collected $10 million from sales of pot in April 2015.
-- More jobs and economic activity. In April 2015, Colorado dispensaries sold $36.4 million in recreational marijuana.
Should Oregon be able to replicate these successes, we could see other states make similar moves.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.