The recreational pot industry itself is of course hiring, but there's also the all the banks and their investors who are making big money from the loans to start businesses and buy equipment to service the booming pot-tourism etc. None of these revenues or savings to the Colorado government balance sheet will show up immediately or even ever be directly attributed to pot legalization. In the coming years Colorado's government coffers will swell allowing them to finance increased public services, like improved schools and roads, like housing the homeless, like...well the public weal enjoyed by the jobs and feelings of self-worth they engender.
Colorado is and has been a swing state for decades because the population there is almost exactly 50/50 Republican/Democrat. As my friends tell me, it's 50/50 in a lotta ways in addition to the conservative/progressive divide. Culturally the difference between say Boulder and Grand Junction are far greater than the mileage.
Interestingly before last year's referendum the majority of right-wing voters were dead set against legalization [though the large libertarian minority among them favored it] and the majority of left-wing voters were in favor [though a minority of them didn't]. Basically the libertarians and the most progressive lefties united on this issue and Colorado's booming economy resulted. Hopefully this trend will continue to expand into other geographic areas and seemingly divided political arenas locally, regionally and nationally.
On an ironic note, now that the typically conservative voters are seeing the huge uptick in economic activity, jobs, and tax revenues their opinions are quickly changing. Recent polls are showing that conservative voters are stampeding onto legalization bandwagon. The typically progressive voters, many of whom have been pot smokers for years if not decades, have decidedly mixed feelings. In the run-up to the referendum the pothead demographic only saw the benefits of no longer being bust-able and easy access and discounted the downsides. Right now, in these early, heady, days of legalization, with the tourist's buying up weed willy-nilly and the local supply unable to meet both local and tourist demands, prices are skyrocketing and the once enthusiastic potheads are far less happy. This imbalance too shall pass because all Coloradians are now legally able to grow the weed in their gardens and by this fall and early winter there ill be so much weed on the market in Colorado that prices will plummet.
farmers in Colorado can now register to grow hemp for commercial as well as R&D purposes. Already hemp has come out of the shadows with country's first legally sanctioned hemp grows holding information fairs across the state. Recreational pot will be legal almost everywhere in a few years. Prices will go up up and down, so will govt. revenues from it because, like Nevada learned once their gambling monopoly ended, pot tourism will dwindle. Hemp will be way more important than the smoking herb. This is big industry, hemp is a game changer in everything. As Jack Herer's 1985 book 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes' showed us, from renewable alternative energy to fabrics that eliminate our chemical laden cotton industry, to logging to...almost every sphere of our out of balance world, hemp is the solution waiting for us to recognize it...maybe it's not to late.