Legal Marijuana Sales In Colorado Kick Off Today
An Iraq war veteran who suffers from PTSD became the first person to make a legal marijuana purchase in Colorado. The new pot industry is now operating in eight towns throughout Colorado as of today via Amendment 64, which allows adults over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana illegally. Those under the age of 21 may not purchase marijuana legally, but will not face having a criminal record if they are caught by police and will simply pay a fine.
Colorado residents over the age of 21 can buy up to an ounce under the new regulations; non-residents can purchase up to a quarter-ounce. Driving under the influence of marijuana and smoking in most public places is still illegal, but officials in Denver ruled last month that city residents could smoke pot on their front porch. Marijuana advocates say they expect $400 million in sales throughout Colorado in the next year.
The legalization of marijuana has also resulted in the Denver Post hiring a marijuana editor last November, Ricardo Baca, to cover events related to pot news and culture both locally and globally. Baca appeared last month on CNN, The O’Reilly Factor and The Colbert Report, with the faux news anchor jokingly asking him if he was a cop. Even Saturday Night Live jumped into the fray, noting that the Post “announced that they’re looking for a marijuana editor for their website. They have one. They’re just looking for him.”
But while marijuana might be legal now in Colorado, Baca said there are still several issues surrounding the drug within the state. “Drug testing and employment is fascinating. How strange is it that you can legally smoke by state law and yet be fired by your employer for it?” he asked. “There’s also a yellow light in place for banks to work with marijuana businesses, which is currently forbidden because banks are federally regulated and it’s still a Schedule I drug. It’s a crazy big subject. I’m the first to recognize that I have so much to learn still.”