Marijuana in the USA - level 3
It's now been one year since the US state of Colorado launched the world's first market for recreational marijuana, sparking mass controversy.
The cannabis you can buy in Colorado and Washington is regulated and taxed. It’s thought sales of the drug could have reached 400 million dollars in 2014.
You can now buy food products such as Dixie Rolls, white chocolate peppermint and truffles all containing marijuana, which some claim has helped boost the local economy.
“Our real estate is booming right now -- five million square feet of commercial lease space. That's the essence that we’re seeing that this industry’s had. Imagine if that was vacant property!”
But critics argue the sale of the drug could lead to long-term addiction and have negative health effects.
“The societal costs are far greater. The industries themselves get wealthy. They make a lot of money, but the burden falls on families, falls on employers, falls on our health care system, falls on our schools...”
As the industry continues to grow with increasing competition for medical marijuana and the black market, it's unclear if it will all go to pot.
Difficult words: launch (to start something), mass (a lot), controversy (when people have strong opinions about something), cannabis (scientific name for marijuana), spark (to cause), Dixie Roll (a sweet covered with chocolate), truffle (a soft sweet made of chocolate mixture), claim (to say), boost (to help), economy (the money of a region), real estate (property consisting of land or buildings), boom (to be successful), lease (to let somebody use something for money), essence (the result), vacant (empty), wealthy (rich), go to pot (to become useless/ also, “pot” is slang for marijuana).
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