It would appear that the legalization of cannabis in Colorado has created some very interesting Side Effects. Around three years ago the cultivation and use of marijuana were made 100% legal, and this policy has helped to reduce the unemployment rate in Colorado to the lowest level on record.

According to a recent report by CNBC, the economic benefits of legal cannabis extend to the addition of around $200 million in tax revenue, and this in a state that has one of the lowest rates of sales tax in the country. While legal marijuana can't take credit for all the job gains, it has made a large contribution.

Green state

The other major contribution to the expanding jobs market in Colorado is sustainable energy technology. Over the last few years, the two sectors have created around 85,000 new jobs, with green energy technologies comprising around 60,000 of them.

Even with the more modest of the two increases in job gains, the legal cannabis industry in Colorado is worth around $1.3 billion dollars, which is literally a sector that has grown up in the last few years. There was little in the way of an organized effort to create this dynamic, but when the government allows people to do things they want in a responsible manner, clearly this can be the result.

The rate at which the cannabis industry created jobs was also very positive, with far more than 1,000 new jobs created in just the first three months after legalization alone.

To put that in comparison the green energy technology sector took all of 2014 to add the same number of positions, so it isn't hard to see how powerful a force legal marijuana could be going forward.

Make an example out of them

Prior to the Legalization Of Cannabis in Colorado, there was a lot of fear-mongering about what could happen in terms of social issues once the drug was legal.

But recently the Governor of Colorado weighed in on how things had developed.

“We don’t see more people doing more marijuana in Colorado after legalization. It’s through a regulated process now,” He commented to CNBC, and also added that it's still, “too soon to know.” as far as the long-term social dynamic is concerned.

A case for change

Governor Hickenlooper had originally opposed the legalization of marijuana, though he expressed cautious optimism during the same interview with CNBC. While many had speculated that legal marijuana would lead to a rise in teenage use, there has been no evidence of that happening, according to the Governor.

California has recently legalized cannabis, and it will be interesting to see if their experience is at all similar. The economy of California is on par with many nations in terms of its value, so the tax revenues from legal marijuana will be nothing to scoff at.

We will also have another case study to look at, and we will learn much more about the social effects of regulating the production and use of cannabis as time goes on.