About 80 years ago, United Sates citizens were celebrating the repeal of prohibition. In 2014, a similar celebration happened in Colorado on New Year’s Day. On Jan. 1, 2014, Colorado opened its first retail recreational marijuana stores across the state. Hundreds lined up ahead of the store openings to be among the first people in Colorado to purchase recreational marijuana legally from the newly opened stores, such as the Botanacare marijuana store in Northglenn.
Under Colorado Amendment 64, a ballot measure passed on Nov. 6, 2012, personal use and regulation of marijuana was enacted for adults over 21 in the state. The amendment also addressed commercial cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales, regulating cannabis in ways similar to how alcohol is regulated.
Marijuana stores such as Botanacare worked around the clock to prepare for their grand openings on New Year’s Day by packaging marijuana and setting up displays for eager customers. In addition to the various marijuana strains offered by the retail stores, some opted to offer additional products such as marijuana-infused lollipops.
According to Time, Colorado opened about 24 stores that day, but more are expected to open in the future.
Under Colorado state law, in-state residents are permitted to purchase one ounce of marijuana at a time. Out-of-staters are limited to one-quarter of an ounce. While these restrictions limit per-transaction purchases, they don’t limit daily purchases. While the law permits purchase of marijuana, smoking it in public is still prohibited, especially on federal property.
The largest part of the law, which came into effect on Jan. 1, enabled retail stores to obtain a license to sell recreational marijuana without a doctor’s prescription.
Despite the legalization of the purchase and use of marijuana in Colorado, it is still considered illegal under federal law.
Whether or not federal law will change to reflect the growing acceptance of marijuana use remains to be seen. In the meantime, Colorado marijuana users have one more avenue to purchase the drug safely and legally.