Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana
Pro-marijuana campaigners have worked for the legalization of marijuana for a long time, about four decades. Last week they saw their efforts rewarded when Washington legislators finally caved to pressure and made Colorado the first state in America to legalize the sale of marijuana. On Wednesday the 1st of January 2014 at 8 a.m. long lines of people queued outside newly legalized weed shops and bought grass legally for the first time. According to the Washington Post, thirty-seven licensed retailers opened in Denver on Wednesday morning but a total of one hundred and thirty-six retailers have been licensed to sell weed. The law states that the weed must be bought by people over 21, who live in Colorado and plan to smoke it in Colorado. They cannot travel with it because in doing so, they are bringing it to a state where it’s not legal to have it. One of the big concerns about the legalization of grass is its new inflated prices and how this will effect medical consumers. Whereas an ounce of grass cost medical users $25 prior to the legalization, the same amount costs $70 from a newly licensed retailer. Colorado and Washington State are the first states after Uruguay to legalize pot and those three are the only places where it’s possible to buy it legally; in Amsterdam it’s tolerated but it’s not actually legal. By 2016, ballot measures could be considered in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada. The new tagline for pro-marijuana campaigners is “pot is safer than alcohol.”
Rory Carroll writing in the Guardian said: ‘To the likes of Diane Goldstein, a former lieutenant commander with the police department of Redondo Beach, California, who’s become an activist for the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, this is welcome evidence that society has turned against the drug war. “It’s no longer dangerous for people to have a rational view about a failed policy,” she said.’
Ray Sanchez writing for CNN said: ‘Public opinion on legalization has changed drastically since the 1960s. There has been an unprecedented spike in approval ratings in the last year, reaching 58%, according to a recent Gallup Poll. The number marks a 10% increase since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize pot, “and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating,” according to Gallup.’
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- Do you think America has taken an interesting or dangerous step by legalizing pot?
- Would you like to see pot legalized in your region?
- What do you think are the long-term effects of legalizing pot?