DENVER — On Jan. 1, it will be 10 years since customers lined up in the streets of the Mile High City to be the first in the United States to purchase legal recreational marijuana.
In the succeeding decade, the sky has not fallen. The Colorado cannabis industry has generated over $2 billion in tax revenues that have funded building public schools and setting up bullying prevention programs. Youth cannabis rates have not skyrocketed. Neither has crime.
Yes, cannabis shops are everywhere. But their gray-toned buildings, nondescript names like Lightshade and Lova, and lack of garish signage lean more toward the style of credit unions than head shops. There aren’t illegal mobile vans hawking cannabis edibles, like in New York. Nor are there pot billboards all over major thoroughfares, like in Michigan.