October 11 marked the 10th anniversary of adult-use marijuana legalization in Colorado. Before this, the government celebrated this event's 3rd and fifth anniversaries accordingly in 2016 and 2019.
Amendment 64, approved by voters on November 6, 2012, made legal marijuana use in private settings in Colorado. It was ratified into the state constitution on December 10, 2012. Under this reform, residents 21 years of age and older are allowed to possess, sell, and grow marijuana in their residences.
Surprisingly, during the event, among officials were Senator John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. They strongly opposed this bill's adoption ten years ago.
John Hickenlooper, governor at the time, signed an administrative order to create a task force. Their duty was to investigate and resolve any legal and political issues related to marijuana. According to his order, the first stores could operate only on January 1, 2014, when Colorado Retail Marijuana Code went into effect. As a result of this reform, state tax income has increased by $2.2 billion from the $13.2 billion in cannabis sales.
Back then, the governor-turned-senator was seriously concerned about the new "wave of society." He was worried that it would spread among children and teenagers and could hurt their health. There was also concern that there would be a high increase in drug-impaired driving.
In addition, John Hickenlooper's replacement in 2011, Mayor Michael Hancock, showed a more critical attitude toward cannabis. In his opinion, the state's rating would fall for companies and investors visiting Colorado.
In contrast, Sen. John Hickenlooper and Michael Hancock have changed their opinions. They concluded that the legalization of cannabis only positively affected society over time. Moreover, experience showed that the worries were in vain.
Hancock publicly acknowledged his mistake in front of a group of people who favored legalizing marijuana, industry representatives, and government authorities. According to his words, they can do it right, and they can do it responsibly, and it will not harm anyone.
As attested by the current Colorado governor, Jared Polis, they took an essential step by removing illegal drug dealers from the industry. The number of mass arrests has decreased. Now people may cure themselves and are free to choose their way.
Amendment 64 was reflected in the other governors of states as well. This legalization may become massive for the whole of America. Even more, Joe Biden declared he would pardon all marijuana-related federal convictions and urged governors to follow the same path. Also, he added that they need to review the marijuana Schedule 1 status.
To emphasize, in 2014, Colorado became one of the two states in the US to allow recreational pot use. However, the law for medical use was enacted in 1996. Then it spread to 19 other states, and 37 states now allow the medical use of cannabis․