Many proponents remain unsatisfied. Many opponents continue to fight to preserve the laws in the remaining states, or even reverse the laws that have allowed marijuana to become legal (or nearly legal). At present under federal law, marijuana possession, usage, and sale is still illegal. However, the federal government has allowed provisions for the states to pass or enact their own laws for both medical and recreational use.
So, where do you stand? Are you in favor of legalization and/or decriminalization? Do you think it is acceptable only in the cases of medical need? Or are you opposed to marijuana being readily available in all instances and situations? We spoke to a variety of people, with a variety of opinions, stories, and positions on the subject. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions. Remember you can alway comment anonymously. Check back every day for more and be sure to join this important conversation!
"Yes. (In Colorado) possession up to an ounce is completely legal if you're over 21."
SO AS LONG AS YOU ARE OVER 21 THERE IS NO PENALTY AT ALL FOR BUYING OR USING MARIJUANA?
"Correct. You can't smoke in public places, but on private property it's okay. Growing is legal too- for personal use."
SO WHERE IS IT BEING SOLD?
"We have marijuana dispensaries- stores that anyone can go in with ID showing they are over 21 and buy."
THAT'S ALL YOU NEED IS AN ID SHOWING YOU ARE 21+ AND YOU CAN WALK IN AND GET WHAT YOU WANT?
"Yes. You don't even have to be a Colorado resident to buy. It's like a liquor store."
HAVE YOU BEEN INSIDE OF ONE?
WHAT IS IT LIKE INSIDE? IS THERE A LARGE VARIETY? ARE THEY GROUPED IN SOME WAY?
"I live in a small town, so I can't speak for the ones in Denver. There is a good variety for as small as it is here. Everything is labeled with whether they are Indicas or Sativas. Some are mixed. How much THC & CBDs, etc (is indicated). The ones in our town have jars on display. You can smell them and talk to the 'bud tenders' about them. We like to buy the 4 gram 1/8s (of an ounce) and get 4 different kinds. There's also a variety of edibles & drinks."
THAT'S PRETTY INTERESTING. HOW WOULD YOU SAY THE DISPENSARIES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY WHERE YOU LIVE?
"We had to vote to allow the recreational dispensaries. Some were worried about it affecting our tourist industry, since that is where we get most of our income. The tourists seem to love it. The stores are very busy when there are a lot of tourists in town. Since it became legal, it is the most popular question from them, "where is the marijuana store?" These are not the normal weed smoking stereotypes either. Mostly it's older people with TX (Texas) and OK (Oklahoma) plates. I never would have thought that they smoked. So, the community is all for it."
"Mostly the tax revenue for schools, road, etc. Because it can be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes. They definitely emphasized the school revenue. I knew it would pass on the western side of CO, since we're mostly skiers over here, and it's not as conservative. It passed on the eaters side to because there are a lot of farmers, and they were thinking of the hemp industry. They can grow hemp now too."
SO AS FAR AS YOU KNOW, YOU'RE SEEING THE PROMISED BENEFITS?
"I haven't seen the exact numbers. There is extra revenue coming in. Not sure how much is actually going to the schools."
ARE THE FARMERS SELLING THEIR CROPS TO THE DISPENSARIES?
"They don't seek hemp in the dispensaries. We have a friend who took over his family's farm to grow hemp. The first year he didn't really sell much. Mostly he harvested the seeds for his next crops. It was hard to even get any seeds. Since growing hemp was illegal in the US for so long, there were a lot of offers to buy his seeds, but he kept most of them for himself."
SO HAVING THE EXPERIENCE FOR A LITTLE WHILE NOW, DO YOU THINK LEGALIZING MARIJUANA HAD INCREASED USE OR DO YOU THINK THAT IT'S BASICALLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF PEOPLE SMOKING AS BEFORE, JUST WITHOUT THE FEAR OF LEGAL REPRECUSSIONS?
"I think it is about the same. People are just more open in talking about it now with someone you are just meeting."