Pot shop owners said enormous amounts of people turned out to purchase recreational marijuana on New Year’s Day. Thousands braved brutal winds and cold to stand in line at pot dispensaries, awaiting their share of the now-legal drug.
“It's huge,” Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti while waiting outside of the 3D Cannabis Center in downtown Denver. “It hasn't even sunk in how big this is yet.”
Some 24 stores opened in Colorado this week, most of them in Denver. Many more are expected as the demand for marijuana begins to ramp up.
"It's a huge deal for me," Andre Barr, a 34-year-old deliveryman who drove from Michigan to be a part of the legal weed sales. "This wait is nothing."
"Everything's gone pretty smoothly," said Barbara Brohl, of Colorado’s Department of Revenue.
Colorado state officials project that revenues from weed this year will top a whopping $600 million. The state’s share of tax on that amount would yield close to $70 million, the majority of which would go toward the building and updating of the state’s schools.
The voter-approved constitutional amendment led Colorado to become the first state in the nation to open recreational pot stores, legally selling to anyone over the age of 21.
Not everyone is happy with the legalization of pot however.
“It's not just a benign recreational drug that we don't have to worry about,” said Dr. Paula Riggs, head of the Division of Substance Dependence at the University of Colorado-Denver medical campus.
“Legalization – with all of the American-style promotion that will accompany it – is the last thing people in recovery, parents, communities and even our nation need right now,” Smart Approaches to Marijuana said on its website.
What’s your take on the legalizing of pot? Leave your comments below.
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