Tomorrow, January 1, 2014, Colorado will become the first state in the country where state-licensed stores selling recreational marijuana are open for business. Under a system of taxation and regulation, these stores, which are located in several Colorado counties, will serve people 21 or older.
The possession, purchase, and sale of marijuana will no longer carry the threat of criminal charges.
Ezekiel Edwards, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project, had this reaction:
“In Colorado, we see the first state in the nation to implement a truly common-sense approach to marijuana. By legalizing marijuana, Colorado has stopped the needless and racially biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws.
“This change will bring both justice and savings. Colorado will save millions previously spent arresting and penalizing people who use marijuana, and will instead generate millions in revenue through the taxation and regulation of its sale and possession.
“With Washington State next to implement marijuana legalization and other states strongly considering enacting similar laws, we believe this marks the beginning of the end of the nation’s decades-long War on Marijuana and its harmful human and fiscal toll.”