I’ve spent every Christmas for the past decade in Colorado with my grandparents, and this year I noticed it was still the same beautiful state it has always been, even though recreational marijuana has now legally been for sale for a full year. The closest thing to the sky falling was a holiday snow storm, giving us a wonderful white Christmas.
Besides seeing a few adult-use marijuana stores, which were mostly tucked away in basement locations, Colorado seemed basically the same as it has in years past. It hadn’t become a lawless wasteland or a place overrun with drugged out zombies. It was effectively the same great state, except now the small segment of adults who choose to consume marijuana have some regulated stores where they can legally buy it and pay taxes on it.
When I asked my grandparents about legal marijuana, they told me it has had basically zero impact on their lives. This is probably why a recent SurveyUSA poll found that if Amendment 64 was put back on the ballot the residents of Colorado would vote for it again.
Elsewhere in the country our states are still spending billions of dollars arresting hundreds of thousands of people for marijuana to effectively prevent their states from being more like Colorado, yet things are going very well in Colorado. In fact, Americans are voting with their feet for Colorado. It currently is the fourth fastest-growing state in the country.
Photo of mountains in Colorado by Jon Walker
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy, on sale for just $0.99