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July 3, 2014

"6 Months Later, Legalizing Weed In Colorado Is A Huge Success"

The title of this post is the headline chosen by Business Insider for this Reuters mid-year update on marijuana reform in Colorado.  Here is an excerpt:

Six months on, Colorado's marijuana shops are mushrooming, with support from local consumers, weed tourists and federal government taking a wait-and-see attitude. Tax dollars are pouring in, crime is down in Denver, and few of the early concerns about social breakdown have materialized - at least so far.

"The sky hasn't fallen, but we're a long way from knowing the unintended consequences," said Andrew Freeman, director of marijuana coordination for Colorado. "This is a huge social and economic question."

Denver, dubbed the "Mile High" city, now has about 340 recreational and medicinal pot shops. They tout the relaxing, powerful or introspective attributes of the crystal-encased buds with names like Jilly Bean, Sour Diesel and Silverback Kush. In the first four months, marijuana sales amounted to more than $202 million, about a third of them recreational. Taxes from recreational sales were almost $11 million.

Despite some critics' fears of a pot-driven crime explosion, Denver police say burglaries and robberies were down by between 4 and 5 percent in the first four months of the year. On the down side, sheriff's deputies in neighboring Nebraska say pot seizures near the Colorado border have shot up 400 percent in three years, while Wyoming and New Mexico report no significant increases.

In May, controls on marijuana edibles were tightened after two people died. In one case, a college student jumped from a hotel balcony after eating six times the suggested maximum amount of pot-laced cookies. In the other, a Denver man was charged with shooting dead his wife after apparently getting high from eating marijuana-infused candy.

As Colorado passes the six-month mark, Washington state is approaching with some trepidation the launch next week of the nation's second recreational pot market.

July 3, 2014 at 01:16 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Tars and Otis must be very upset by this news.

Posted by: anon1 | Jul 3, 2014 4:23:47 PM

Alaska comes on board in a week or so. In a year or two, the states will fall in line. Too much money for states to pass up.

Posted by: observer12 | Jul 3, 2014 9:39:38 PM

I don't know what to think about this. I hope by legalizing marijuana, they will be able to control it better so less lives will be taken, if not entirely eliminated, through its use. Thanks for sharing this update!

Posted by: Jeremy Norton | Jul 4, 2014 4:09:31 AM

Observer is correct. The $11 million tax is like crack cocaine to the governors, instantly addictive.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 5, 2014 10:14:10 AM

Should have started this 40 years ago. states would have had millions more to fix the roads.

Posted by: dave from texas | Jul 5, 2014 7:12:32 PM

How are lives "taken" by marijuana? What does that mean?

Posted by: Joe | Jul 6, 2014 12:18:59 PM

Jeremy Norton writes: "I hope by legalizing marijuana, they will be able to control it better so less lives will be taken." What do you mean? I may be wrong, but I don't know that there has ever been more than a handful of deaths reported from just the use of marijuana. I suppose there have been deaths associated with driving while under the influence of marijuana, but the nubmers are surely pale in comparison with the number from those under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

Posted by: anon1 | Jul 6, 2014 2:07:41 PM

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