In Colorado, January 1, 2014 was a much anticipated date.  It was the first day that marijuana became available for sale for recreational use.  Long lines formed in the snowy weather outside 24 of the state’s 37 licensed shops, which opened at 8am.  People from all over the country have been watching to see how they can expect a marijuana legalization campaign unroll in their own states, or perhaps nationwide.

Though smoking marijuana in public remains illegal in Colorado – much as drinking alcohol in public is illegal – only two citations were issued during the day.  Eating pot-laced baked goods, such as truffles, cookies and brownies, in public is much harder to track.  The fact remains, though, that there have been no complaints about ill behavior, even in the initial fervor and novelty of marijuana’s statewide legalization.  The rollout has virtually unanimously been considered smooth and hardly noticeable to non users.


The most noticeable quirk of the program has been the distribution of pot licenses.  Almost all the licensed shops are in Denver, but no shops at all were licensed in Boulder, Colorado’s third largest city and famously socially progressive college town.  Part of this is due to the fact that Boulder County has been slow in putting its local marijuana regulations in place, but in part this has been due to decisions at the state level.  Boulder’s first shops will open in late January at the earliest.  Many Boulderites traveled to Denver to take part in the festivities.

As Washington State and the country of Uruguay complete their regulatory frameworks and prepare to open their first licensed marijuana shops, all eyes are on Colorado.  Many of Colorado’s regulations were intended to satisfy Department of Justice requirements.  These include stricter limits on the amount of pot out-of-staters are allowed to purchase, stipulations the pot must be used within the state, limits on hours retailers can be open, and, of course a minimum age of 21 for any pot purchasers.

Though the fears of legalized marijuana’s detractors have not been realized, neither have all the hopes of its supporters.  Competition with medicinal marijuana has not pushed the price of medicinal marijuana down, and contrary to many people’s expectations, the number of pot users has risen dramatically since the substance was legalized.  It has increased demand for the drug as opposed to simply filling demand, meaning that black markets will continue to exist. Shop owners state that they will be sold out soon.

Colorado’s marijuana legalization has in many ways served as a testing ground for the whole country, and indeed the world.

Groups like the Tenth Amendment Center praised Colorado’s historic event. After the first day of legal pot sales – which brought in over $1 million in sales – the Tenth Amendment Center wrote, “Yesterday, the people of Colorado nullified Washington DC and its unconstitutional federal laws banning marijuana – in a big, big way.”

The nullification movement has become a popular one. Many states nullified federal laws such as, NDAA, federal gun laws, and drug laws as in Colorado’s case. South Carolina lawmakers are holding an Obamacare nullification rally at the state capital on Jan 14th to gain support for the South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act (H3101). If passed, lawmakers would use an anti-commandeering mechanism that would kill Obamacare in the state.

Like the Colorado law, it essentially nullifies federal law.  Judge Napolitano argues that states have the Constitutional right to nullify federal laws that are unconstitutional.  “A state’s noncompliance makes federal enforcement nearly impossible,” says Napolitano.

According to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly, Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue. That’s a lot of money for cash strapped states.

Right now, all eyes are on Colorado, and other states are taking notes.


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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook is a writer and reporter for Truth In Media. He has interviewed many politicians including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Walter Jones, Bob Graham, Trey Gowdy and thought leaders who shape U.S. policy. He is a host of 'Beer and Politcs' on Truth In Media. If you have any tips please email him at Find him on Twitter @RealJoshuaCook

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  • Richard

    What’s worse? Libtards who cry about racism all the time, or right wing loonies who cry about weed?

    • Big Oil Conspiracy Theory

      who’s crying about weed?

      • Richard

        Most of the conservatives on my twitter page?

      • Tom Schneider

        All kinds of people like to moan & cry about Cannabis and they have always done this. Even after Cannabis oil cures their cancer or a loved one’s serious cancer they will continue moaning & crying regarding Cannabis and call it unflattering names like the devils weed.

    • aj

      Weed use isn’t protected by the Constition, so liberals that support nullification of federal weed laws, should certainly support nullification of federal gun laws that impact/restrict law abiding gun owners. Guns are the one item is protected by the Constitution to never be infringed upon. liberals, we need your support for gun owners.

      • Richard

        I ave 0 clue what this has to do with my question, sorry.

        I’m all for keeping the guns.

    • Tom Schneider

      Hoping the nation, when they finally loosen up, skips all the details Colorado and Washington State are getting hamstrung with. Because what should be done is, all the laws about Cannabis should be simply be eliminated and nothing else. Parents themselves can forbid their kids having it, same as it is now, only one less worry of arrest and criminal record.

      • SickOfTheStupid

        finally some one that gets it !

  • JB

    It’s a bit too early to say Cannabis use in Colorado has increased or decreased since it was legalized. If anything it may be that it’s use was underestimated in the first place. Also its going to take time to drive down prices through competition. Lets see where things are this time next year.

  • SickOfTheStupid


    People need to wake up is all Colorado has done has traded one abuse for another. Colorado will spend just has much money on law enforcement and fill just has many jail beds has they always have the only difference will be now it will be to protect their tax revenues instead of ‘protecting the public’ from the evil weed…………………

    The reality is nothing has changed in Colorado , they have just conned you into thinking it has…………………