Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marijuana Now Legal in Colorado, Unless it Isn't

This is what the world’s coming to. Back in my day, we didn’t
expect handouts from anyone—we had to
work for our weed.

Perhaps somewhat lost in the tumult accompanying last week’s reelection of President Barack Obama was the passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana and left the entire state feeling somewhat stunned that it was more pot-friendly than Oregon.

Well, Amendment 64 sort of legalized marijuana, anyway. Marijuana—or “dope,” as it was called by cool kids a million years ago—is still illegal according to the United States government, and while we did pretty poorly in our tenth-grade Government & Law class, we’re reasonably certain that Colorado was the sixty-eleventh state admitted into the Union, and is thus in some small way affected by the United States government. So in a way that only Erwin Schrödinger—or perhaps a lesser but more thoroughly stoned physicist—could truly appreciate, marijuana use in Colorado is simultaneously legal and illegal.1

This Amendment’s passage sets up a potentially lengthy and involved showdown between the federal government and a local governor less than thrilled to be backing the new law.2 Furthermore, the amendment, having received more than 1.3 million votes of support, may fundamentally alter the age-old stereotype of marijuana users from shiftless, lazy, slacker potheads to motivated, politically involved activists who may or may not remember how they ended up in this voting booth, or why the ballot is watching them.

One place in Denver, Colorado, that sells pot.

In the twelve years since Colorado passed Amendment 20, which legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in the state, the federal government has done little to affect the drug’s expanding availability, which may have fed the public support for this year’s Amendment 64.

It remains to be seen whether the government lacks the manpower or funding to deal with the potential legal quagmire, or is simply not interested in doing so, but for the time being, Colorado is the place to be for the discerning smoking aficionado interested in breaking somewhat fewer laws than usual.

That one place in Boulder, Colorado, that doesn’t sell pot.

In a completely unrelated development, applications to the University of Colorado–Boulder have risen by 32,150% over the last six days. Experts attribute the increase to the popularity of skiing, and young people’s love of John Denver.

This photo of Boulder was taken at 4:20. We don’t know
what this means, though, because we’re pretty square.

1. It’s probably too much to hope for, but if that humble sentence can someday at least momentarily boggle the mind of a reader who’s recently toked up, we’ll consider this entire blogging enterprise to be a success.
2. It might be ironic that Governor Hickenlooper has reservations about legalizing a drug that sometimes makes people do stupid shit, given that he made good money selling people beer—but we’ll leave that discussion for another day, or somebody else’s column.

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