On January 1st, 420 days after the citizens of Colorado voted to legalise marijuana, around 37 pot shops across the state opened their doors to all-comers. Stoners in Denver and other cities braved freezing temperatures and two-hour queues to be part of this historic moment, for Colorado has become the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to oversee a legal, regulated market for recreational marijuana (20 states plus Washington, DC, allow patients with doctors' recommendations to buy the stuff).
Amendment 64, the measure approved by 55% of voters in November 2012, set certain parameters for Colorado's marijuana regime, including maximum tax rates and the rights of cities and counties to exclude pot shops from their jurisdictions. But the details were worked out by officials and legislators over the course of 2013. Unlike many states (including Washington, which has also legalised marijuana but not yet licensed recreational outlets) Colorado's medical-marijuana system is well regulated; not only did that make full legalisation an easier sell to voters, it provided a foundation for the recreational industry.
Read here the full publication.
Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.