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First Recreational Marijuana Store Opens in Denver

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Denver (CNN) -- Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti described his purchase of recreational marijuana -- legally -- as a historic moment Wednesday.


"This is what we worked so hard for the last few years," he said of the voter-approved constitutional amendment that led Colorado to become the first state in the nation to open recreational pot stores to anyone age 21 and older. "It's mind-blowing."



Applauding, criticizing the new law


Even before the weed went on sale, enthusiasts were anticipating the end of an era.

"Prohibition is over," blared a flier for New Year's Eve festivities atCasselman's Bar in Denver. "Celebrate Cannabis freedom in style."


Limits to marijuana consumption


Not all of the state is participating in the new law. A community can decide not to allow the shops, and in fact, most of the state geographically hasn't, including communities such as Greeley and Colorado Springs.


Proponents of the new law were dealt a setback last week when Denver and state officials threatened to shut down a private party at a dance club scheduled for January 1 celebrating the end of the prohibition against cannabis -- an event billed as "Cannabition." The organizers canceled the party because officials said it would violate a Denver ordinance prohibiting the public consumption of marijuana.


Cannabis can only be smoked on private property with the owner's permission. Under the new state law, residents are now able to buy marijuana like alcohol. The cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce, which is substantial enough to cost about $200 or more. People from out of state can buy up to a quarter-ounce.


In a vivid example of how recreational pot is a new reality for the state, Denver officials posted public signs in the tourist-populated corridor known as the 16th Street Mall. The street signs read, "Know the Law about Marijuana Use in Denver."


Colorado becomes the first place in the world where marijuana will be regulated from seed to sale. Pot is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to the marijuana reform group NORML.



Not perfect of course, but still a great day in the fight for freedom.  :sorcerer:  I suspect the trend will continue around the country based on polling. 

Edited by JASKN
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It's important to think of these new laws as the beginning of a long-term process. Yes, there's a ton of compromise in the law, and it's limited in scope, etc. etc.


The important thing to is to imagine yourself in 2019--five years from now--when it's common knowledge that Colorado and other states completely legalized pot and they didn't fall into chaos and ruin. That is when real change will happen. The next few years are likely to be a bit bumpy since any sort of change like this is bound to cause a few problems, but they will be worked out in the end and we'll live in a freer country.

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