Wednesday April 16, 2014
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Tomorrow, January 1, 2014, New Years Day will bring something this nation has not seen in 77 years — the legal sale of marijuana with no need for a medical certificate.
For the first time since 1937, when marijuana first became illegal, stores in one of our states will open their doors to all comers, offering I do not know what forms of marijuana, or at what price, because I know nothing about such things.
But there it will be, right out in the open....
One of them, in Denver, is owned by 45-year-old ex-industrial engineer, Pete Williams. Pete, has even created windows into his growing rooms where shoppers will be able to see how marijuana is grown indoors. They'll be able to see drying marijuana buds and see pot trimmers at work separating the valuable flowers from the less-prized stems and leaves.
Pete's place was an empty 40,000 square foot warehouse not too long ago. Pete and his brother borrowed $630,000 to open a medical marijuana sales place in 2009, something his says was not easy on his nerves.
"It was scary," he says. "I... had dreams [many] times a week where I was in prison and couldn't see my wife or my child. Lot of sleepless nights."
Colorado already had a medical marijuana law, but when it passed a law legalizing marijuana for sale to adults 21 and older based on the savings in law enforcement and imprisonment, everyone involved held his breath, waiting to see the federal response, but the long -predicted legal showdown just didn't happen.
So far, in fact, the response has been very low key. In August, the Department Of Justice said it would not take legal action as long as the states met an eight-point standard that includes keeping marijuana away from children, out of the hands of criminal cartels, and off federal property.
The new Colorado law allows adults 21 and older to buy marijuana only at state-sanctioned retail stories. For now at least, only existing medical dispensaries have been allowed to apply for licenses. State regulations forbid businesses from advertising in places where children are likely see them.
A study done by Colorado State University estimates the state will bring in $606 million in sales in 2014, and suggest that the market will grow from 105,000 medical marijuana users to 643,000 adult users almost overnight — and that's not counting the tourist trade.
Well, the genie is out of the bottle.
The question is...
What will happen next?
And don't ask me. I don't have a clue; that's why I'm asking you.
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