Shocker: Legalization produces pot sales boom, shortages in Colorado

posted at 2:01 pm on January 9, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It’s been a week since Colorado became the first state — and arguably perhaps the first government in the world — to fully legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Legalization advocates claimed before the law passed that legalization does not equal endorsement, and that the effect would be mostly limited to shifting sales from the black market into the open. At least in the first week of legalization, it seems to have produced a little more demand than predicted:

A few years ago, after Andy Williams quit his job as an industrial engineer to become a marijuana entrepreneur, his nights were haunted by a recurring dream. “I would have nightmares about being in prison and never seeing my family again,” he says. “The same nightmare for weeks.”

These days Williams isn’t sleeping much at all, but the deprivation isn’t driven by fear. The debut of Colorado‘s market for retail pot sales has propelled a crush of new customers to Medicine Man, his cannabis dispensary in north Denver. Early on Monday morning, a line of buyers snaked through the shop, waiting to purchase one of 21 strains of pot from glass jars arrayed in display cases, or to sample the menu of THC-infused chocolates, tinctures, creams, lozenges and baked goods. Between extensive preparations for the Jan. 1 rollout of the world’s first legal marijuana market and the media attention that has attended it, Williams says he has been too busy to sleep much at all lately.

Rationing and price spikes have resulted:

“We are going to run out,” Denver dispensary owner Toni Fox said amid the frenzied opening of the retail market. That was, in fact, the fate of Denver-based Clinic Colorado, which exhausted its supply of recreational pot on Monday.

To keep their doors open, most businesses are resorting to rationing. The new Colorado law allows customers to purchase up to an ounce for personal use, but some stores are limiting individuals to just an eighth of that to preserve supply; one store in the western part of the state is capping sales at a single gram. Most have already hiked prices, which have jumped to as much as $65 per eighth at some stores.

Needless to say, this isn’t a bad outcome in terms of tax revenues, and there is a novelty factor in play here, too. The demand will likely subside to more normal levels after a few weeks, but it still leaves open the question of whether legalization in the long run sends a moral signal that encourages use. Colorado will make a very good laboratory to test that hypothesis, and other states will certainly pay attention to the results.


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Comment pages: 1 2

What if I’m just looking for a nickelbag?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Except, of course for the argument I’ve been hearing from gay rights supporters in Utah: Once you have a right in one state, it’s universal across the country and cannot be taken away, ever. In other words, morality is always going to decline. It can never go up.

Vanceone on January 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

This will drive a huge black market as well. How does one know whether the weed someone is carrying is legal or bootleg? I doubt anyone can. Street sells will be rocking. Why pay high prices and taxes on something most people are already buying for a fraction of those prices?

HotAirian on January 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

So does that mean CO is going to start prosecuting black market sellers?

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

What if I’m just looking for a nickelbag?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Dave’s not here, man…

JohnGalt23 on January 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

So people want pot. So outlaw it, put the people in prison. Gallop and a recent CNN poll shows overwhelming support for legalization, with actually the only group opposing legalization being those over 65. Nixon’s “whatever it takes” all out war “law and order” approach to trying to halt pot & other drugs is brutal and ineffective, not to mention very costly, and at least those under 65 years old don’t want that violent police state solution. We have to treat pot as a medical & educational, even a recreational, issue. Let the hype die down, and the negative effects of pot will finally get a fair airing, and only those who want to smoke pot will smoke it.

anotherJoe on January 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Not only that, but for all those Colorado-to-Colorado flights, the tokers want to carry onto planes. Pot Won’t Fly At DIA, Marijuana Advocates Say It’s Their Right

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 2:11 PM

So, where do you think they’re going to get their fix, I mean, recreational weed?
And, when will the tribes start selling tax free weed?

AllahsNippleHair on January 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Where are the morality police when you need them?

mazer9 on January 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

It’s not the government’s job to enforce and/or impose morality wither it’s “providing a safety net”, sending Americans to fight wars other people should be fighting or telling them what they can or cant put in their bodies or do in the privacy of their own home.

Liberty and freedom can be one big smelly loud obnoxious SOB but I would much rather deal with liberty as opposed to the foul sterile stench of tyranny.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

It’s the middle of winter. You would have thought these guys would have stockpiled some but, let’s face it, we’re dealing with stoners here. Give it 4 months and there will be enough. By summer they will be swimming the the stuff.

Rocks on January 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

What if I’m just looking for a nickelbag?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Better bring a s**tload of nickles then :)

Average price is per gram is easily 2x the black market.

Dave’s not here, man…

JohnGalt23 on January 9, 2014 at 2:08 PM

He is…but at the back of the line, man…lol

BlaxPac on January 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Is all of the pot on sale locally grown in Colorado?

JohnnyL on January 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

…but it still leaves open the question of whether legalization in the long run sends a moral signal that encourages use.

That’s hardly an open question. Of course it does. The purpose of all law is to legislate morality—to enforce contracts so that people won’t renege on what they’ve promised or to criminalize behavior.

INC on January 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The underground will be a market for clean, urine samples…I probably could pee out a monthly mortgage payment…

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

This is silly. Of course sales were going to spike when it was legalized. There are people who have always been curious but law abiding, and now they can check it out without breaking the law.

Give it a few months, or at least a week or two.

fadetogray on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Liberty and freedom can be one big smelly loud obnoxious SOB but I would much rather deal with liberty as opposed to the foul sterile stench of tyranny.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 2:15 PM

I love it when somebody implies a slippery slope with a false dichotomy! You’ve got the whole package working for you.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Is all of the pot on sale locally grown in Colorado?

JohnnyL on January 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

It has to be. The Feds are ignoring in state use but not taking it out of state. The main reason CO limited out of staters to an 1/8th of an ounce was because it’s supposed to be an amount that will be fully consumed locally.

Rocks on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

This will drive a huge black market as well. How does one know whether the weed someone is carrying is legal or bootleg? I doubt anyone can. Street sells will be rocking. Why pay high prices and taxes on something most people are already buying for a fraction of those prices?

HotAirian on January 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The black market is already there.
From what I’ve heard, the shortage is only at the legal stores – and there are currently only 24 of those in the entire state.
The existing black market / illegal dealers apparently still have plenty.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Next boom should be chips dispensaries..

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

HotAirian on January 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Of course! The drug cartels aren’t going away and here is the reason:

Retail weed will have a 25% state tax — plus the usual state sales tax of 2.9% — making recreational pot one of the most heavily taxed consumer products in Colorado. Some communities are adding even more taxes to the product.

…and this is just after legalization. In 10 years the tax rate will be much higher.

Wigglesworth on January 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

…and this is just after legalization. In 10 years the tax rate will be much higher.

Wigglesworth on January 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

The total tax rate on cigars in Colorado is about 40%.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

The black market is already there.
From what I’ve heard, the shortage is only at the legal stores – and there are currently only 24 of those in the entire state.
The existing black market / illegal dealers apparently still have plenty.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Soon to be gray market–local, legal dealers trying to increase inventory will be heading out to the Colfax Ave. back alleys soon…

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Next boom should be chips dispensaries..

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

That’s where I want to invest my money…..

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Soon to be gray market–local, legal dealers trying to increase inventory will be heading out to the Colfax Ave. back alleys soon…

hillsoftx on January 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

You betcha.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Wait for the AmazonWeed.com sale of the day.

faraway on January 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Bill O’Reilly will not be pleased.

Jeddite on January 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Wait for the AmazonWeed.com sale of the day.

faraway on January 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Man, Prime Membership would…be…awesome!

BlaxPac on January 9, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Wait for the AmazonWeed.com sale of the day.

faraway on January 9, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Delivered right to your door – by drone.
No need to let go of that buzz to leave the house to go buy more….

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:28 PM

OK, everyone who did not see this coming raise your hand.

Johnnyreb on January 9, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Atheist update in 3…2…1…

Eph on January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Someone came up from Florida? Please tell me that he had other business to attend to.

tommer74 on January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

As long as prices are above that of the black market, the street sellers will stay in business. Just like every other “sin” tax, it causes a distortion in the price. The way it sounds, they are piling on the taxes so it will still be worth it for some to keep their dealers.

Either way, those who buy it wont have to worry about police breaking down their doors anymore, and thats a good thing. Maybe a few more violent crimes will be solved now that they can stop spending tax dollars and manpower on taking down pot smokers. I dont smoke myself, but the idea of being arrested for weed always seemed tyrannical to me. At least with something much more problematic, like alcohol, being legal.

Now if we could just get the Sudafed back.

alecj on January 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

I think it’s a given that pot usage will increase in Colorado now that it’s legal, but early demand is not in any way, shape, or form an accurate measure of this because of early supply shortages. These are new shops just starting up, and there is a learning curve to any business. They will improve their supply chains. And many communities aren’t allowing these shops to even exist at all, so the shops that do exist are seeing a lot of out of towners as well. I don’t think we can get an accurate measure of usage for at least two years.

NotCoach on January 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

This is silly. Of course sales were going to spike when it was legalized. There are people who have always been curious but law abiding, and now they can check it out without breaking the law.

Give it a few months, or at least a week or two.

fadetogray on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

The system was probably set up by the same people who set up o-care.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Every economics course I have taken says that increasing supply does not increase demand. They are separate forces. In this case, possibly a more accurate description would be that supply has finally increased to meet an already existing demand. I’m just speaking theoretically of course, the real world might behave differently. I can sort of see how legalizing something could make the behavior more socially acceptable, thus increasing its demand. I know Ed has sound economic chops, so I’m wondering about his take on this.

factsonlypls on January 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Someone came up from Florida? Please tell me that he had other business to attend to.

tommer74 on January 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

He better have, or be on vacation, or he made a really expensive trip for nothing.
Non-Colorado residents are only allowed by the law to legally buy 1/8 ounce at a time.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

OK, everyone who did not see this coming raise your hand.

Johnnyreb on January 9, 2014 at 2:30 PM

LOL…you kidding? I told all and sunder that once MJ was allowed/relaxed and taxed like smokes, prices would go UP.

The Black market won’t necessarily disappear, because as a MARKET, it will adjust.

However, as a price to pay in the long run, it will settle down to something we all (with exception of a few die hards) will accept.

BlaxPac on January 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

heh, HealthCare.gov had ‘shortages’ also.

faraway on January 9, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Unexpectedly!

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Puritanism – the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may by happy.

Tom Servo on January 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Wonder if Air Force One will be allowed to have weed on board at DIA…

For the Choom Gang.

Guess a western White House will be established in CO in short oreder.

txdoc on January 9, 2014 at 2:45 PM

I think it’s a given that pot usage will increase in Colorado now that it’s legal, but early demand is not in any way, shape, or form an accurate measure of this because of early supply shortages. These are new shops just starting up, and there is a learning curve to any business. They will improve their supply chains. And many communities aren’t allowing these shops to even exist at all, so the shops that do exist are seeing a lot of out of towners as well. I don’t think we can get an accurate measure of usage for at least two years.

NotCoach on January 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Yes – across the board.
There’s a lot of cost and gubmint bureaucracy involved in opening these legal shops, and many communities are voting to not allow them at all – which is why (last I heard) there are only 24 open statewide. And most are in the Denver area. People just aren’t going to drive from Grand Junction to Denver, about a 4 hour drive, just to legally buy 1 ounce of pot. Many users across the state will continue to buy from their local illegal dealer.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Will Colorado’s war on black-market drugs still be considered a war on drugs? Will convictions of people selling drugs outside of Colorado’s regulation be touted as unnecessarily ruining their lives?

blink on January 9, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Maybe they’ll fall back to the old tax evasion charge, a la Capone.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Hey, as an aside, what are the stats on non-legal pot sales in Colorado and other places nearby ?

Oh, right, we don’t have stats for that. Got it.

Because you do realize, LEGAL pot sales would very likely displace NON-LEGAL sales. Unless that concept is too complex or something.

deadrody on January 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

This will drive a huge black market as well. How does one know whether the weed someone is carrying is legal or bootleg? I doubt anyone can. Street sells will be rocking. Why pay high prices and taxes on something most people are already buying for a fraction of those prices?

HotAirian on January 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Maybe because you have to buy it from a criminal drug dealer, which otherwise law-abiding people might not know.

Just a thought.

deadrody on January 9, 2014 at 2:52 PM

The purpose of all law is to legislate morality—to enforce contracts so that people won’t renege on what they’ve promised or to criminalize behavior.

INC on January 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Yes. Thank you for pointing it out.

Now if we could just get the Sudafed back.

alecj on January 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Exactly.

factsonlypls on January 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I don’t see anywhere in here where Ed (or anyone else) claimed that increasing supply increased demand. The claim is that legalization increased demand. And that impacted the supply (making it inadequate to the demand).

GWB on January 9, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Because you do realize, LEGAL pot sales would very likely displace NON-LEGAL sales. Unless that concept is too complex or something.

deadrody on January 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Some – except where the price of the legal product is higher than the price of the illegal product. And when there’s a shortage of the legal stuff, but the local illegal dealers have plenty, the illegal sales will continue. Also, the size of a legal purchase is limited, whereas an illegal dealer will sell you as much as you can afford to buy.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 2:57 PM

In 2 years a lb of pot will cost $5. Taxing it at 1000% won’t even discourage use or bring in any revenue.

jhffmn on January 9, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Meanwhile, here in PA, we’re still waiting for the privatization of alcohol sales.

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I love it when somebody implies a slippery slope with a false dichotomy! You’ve got the whole package working for you.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

I never meant to imply a slippery slope. My point was I’d rather live in a world where there is too much liberty, as opposed to a world where the government there are too many laws. I don’t smoke pot, but I also don’t need the government to tell me not to. This thing is bigger then pot, it’s nullification which is good. This is a perfect example of reinstating the 10th Amendment. The simple minded simply see “pot’s bad…don’t do pot” but others see a state telling the federal government to go pound sand.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Except, of course for the argument I’ve been hearing from gay rights marriage supporters in Utah:

FIFY

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 9, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Maybe because you have to buy it from a criminal drug dealer, which otherwise law-abiding people might not know.

Just a thought.

deadrody on January 9, 2014 at 2:52 PM

You *really* think that most of the people lining up for these stores were folks who had never had a toke before and didn’t know where to score? It might be some measure of them, but not all (nor even most).

GWB on January 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Alternate Headline: Hippies discovering the joys of capitalism.

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This thing is bigger then pot, it’s nullification which is good. This is a perfect example of reinstating the 10th Amendment. The simple minded simply see “pot’s bad…don’t do pot” but others see a state telling the federal government to go pound sand.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

but but but but but but federalism is bad when it means people doing stuff I dont personally approve of! “HEDONISM! ANARCHY!! LIBERTINES!!!”

Jeddite on January 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Not all of us that enjoy MJ are hippies…lol…far from it, speaking for myself of course…

BlaxPac on January 9, 2014 at 3:14 PM

We have a family ranch out in the sticks of CA, and it’s usually thought of as peaceful and beautiful, and none of us have an interest in either smoking or growing pot, but up until a few years ago, we’d have these helicopters looking for pot flying over the property every few months. The copter would get real low to the ground, and fly back and forth over the whole acreage. The windows would be rattling big time, and that went on and on for a long time. It was obnoxious, and then a few months later, a copter would be back again doing the same thing, and then going on to buzz over all the neighbors’ lands. Supposedly it was a privately financed operation, but I don’t think it should have been legal for them to do that, to invade our privacy like that.

anotherJoe on January 9, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Meanwhile, here in PA, we’re still waiting for the privatization of alcohol sales.

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Legal pot got all the press – but Colorado just last year also allowed liquor stores to open on Sundays. So we’re slowly eliminating our “blue laws”.
That one was good for me, whereas the pot legalization did nothing for me.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I am all for freedom but if these slackers demand I pay for their food, housing, and clothing…..then I say screw them.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

A lot of people will probably grow their own. It’s pretty easy to do if you don’t have to worry about getting busted. It’s much cheaper, too, in the long run. Home growing will push down prices for the larger market as well.

EricW on January 9, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I never meant to imply a slippery slope. My point was I’d rather live in a world where there is too much liberty, as opposed to a world where the government there are too many laws. I don’t smoke pot, but I also don’t need the government to tell me not to. This thing is bigger then pot, it’s nullification which is good. This is a perfect example of reinstating the 10th Amendment. The simple minded simply see “pot’s bad…don’t do pot” but others see a state telling the federal government to go pound sand.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Well, that’s close to my position. But this is not likely a rebirth of the 10th amendment, just a special purpose liberal-use of the 10th amendment. And as some people point out, its another thing they can get tax revenue from.

It’s like the liberal campaign against filtered sticks of burning plant as “unhealthy” and a burden on our healthcare system for which we pay “too much”, but let’s spread the gospel of smoking unfiltered sticks of burning plant, which has 5 times the tar and nicotine, because it rocks!!

Of course, I am on the other side of the opinion. I’m fine with Colorado deciding their own state laws, but I’ve watched a bunch of people exuberant that this was a rebirth of states rights or something. And I just don’t think it is, I think that a lot of people are just real excited about pot.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

This thing is bigger then pot, it’s nullification which is good. This is a perfect example of reinstating the 10th Amendment. The simple minded simply see “pot’s bad…don’t do pot” but others see a state telling the federal government to go pound sand.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:02 PM

but but but but but but federalism is bad when it means people doing stuff I dont personally approve of! “HEDONISM! ANARCHY!! LIBERTINES!!!”

Jeddite on January 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Ha…awesome. There are plenty of people here who simple can’t see the forest because of the trees. Nullification is good and just; while I don’t agree with pot smoking I do support the states effort at telling the feds to f&*k off.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

The demand will likely subside to more normal levels after a few weeks, but it still leaves open the question of whether legalization in the long run sends a moral signal that encourages use.

My God, this is naive. So you think the numbers either won’t change at all or pot use will decrease? Face it, more people will be on drugs than before. Congrats everyone.

Dongemaharu on January 9, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Of course, I am on the other side of the opinion. I’m fine with Colorado deciding their own state laws, but I’ve watched a bunch of people exuberant that this was a rebirth of states rights or something. And I just don’t think it is, I think that a lot of people are just real excited about pot.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

I didnt say it was some freakin” liberty Renaissance, I simply said it was good. There has been other sates recently which have nullified the NDDA such as Michigan, South Carolina, California as a few examples. That is good. I could careless if a liberal, or conservative is behind it.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:35 PM

My God, this is naive. So you think the numbers either won’t change at all or pot use will decrease? Face it, more people will be on drugs than before. Congrats everyone.

Dongemaharu on January 9, 2014 at 3:34 PM

poor guy, are people not doing what you want them to do? Damn, life’s tough.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

We have a family ranch out in the sticks of CA, and it’s usually thought of as peaceful and beautiful, and none of us have an interest in either smoking or growing pot, but up until a few years ago, we’d have these helicopters looking for pot flying over the property every few months. The copter would get real low to the ground, and fly back and forth over the whole acreage. The windows would be rattling big time, and that went on and on for a long time. It was obnoxious, and then a few months later, a copter would be back again doing the same thing, and then going on to buzz over all the neighbors’ lands. Supposedly it was a privately financed operation, but I don’t think it should have been legal for them to do that, to invade our privacy like that.

anotherJoe on January 9, 2014 at 3:15 PM

None of this will change. The only difference is that it won’t be the DEA with helicopters it will be the IRS trying to out all the dealers selling illegally without claiming tax revenue.

Face it, those that claimed “legal” marijuana would somehow completely get the government out of it were wrong. People may not be going to jail for it; but it will be regulated down to the last bud.

Like I said in an earlier comment, the only freedoms we will have left is to marry our same sex partner while smoking a joint.

melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM

poor guy, are people not doing what you want them to do? Damn, life’s tough.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Smoke all the pot you want, but make sure that I am not paying for a living for any pot smoker i.e., get rid of welfare, SSI etc.

melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

I am all for freedom but if these slackers demand I pay for their food, housing, and clothing…..then I say screw them.

CWchangedhisNicagain on January 9, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Too late.

Colorado to Accept EBT Cards for Marijuana from Welfare Recipients

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

cptacek on January 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

None of this will change. The only difference is that it won’t be the DEA with helicopters it will be the IRS trying to out all the dealers selling illegally without claiming tax revenue.
melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Or the USDA/FSA. It is still illegal for farmers who participate in any USDA farm program to grow it.

cptacek on January 9, 2014 at 3:47 PM

I can’t imagine how much pot is flowing across 1-70 right now.

cptacek on January 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM

poor guy, are people not doing what you want them to do? Damn, life’s tough.

MoreLiberty on January 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I know, libertarians have that same struggle all the time. “You statist poopyheads!!! Stop acting collectively!! Freedom doesn’t imply the right to engage in group behavior!!”

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

marijuana entrepreneur

Back in my day, we called these people drug dealers.

drewwerd on January 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

My God, this is naive. So you think the numbers either won’t change at all or pot use will decrease? Face it, more people will be on drugs than before. Congrats everyone.

Dongemaharu on January 9, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Sure, over time pot use will increase some. We’ll just have to see how much.
But not everyone is running out to get some just because it’s legal now. The law didn’t change the fact that many companies and government entities still have drug-free workplace policies. Regardless of pot being legal in the state, you still can’t use pot if you work at one of those places and want to keep your job – or get a job at one of those places.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM

marijuana entrepreneur

Back in my day, we called these people drug dealers.

drewwerd on January 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

My brother in law’s nephew came home from college during Christmas break and announced to his family that he was leaving college, and going to Michigan to weed college.

melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 3:54 PM

I can’t imagine how much pot is flowing across 1-70 right now.

cptacek on January 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM

More likely I-25 – coming up from Mexico.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Too late.

Colorado to Accept EBT Cards for Marijuana from Welfare Recipients

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

cptacek on January 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

FREEDOM!!! WHOOHOO!!!

It’s not too late we can probably shove this into a freedom mold, you know like isn’t it great that gays can be licensed by the state in the same way as (with the only other alternative the state has no interest in promoting traditional behavior), sorry about all that you-have-to-bake-a-cake-for-their-wedding stuff. We weren’t for that!! We’re for FREEDOM!!!

They’re not for wastoids living off the state’s dole!! They were just looking for a little more FREEDOM!!!

Time to pose for the liberals….

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

But not everyone is running out to get some just because it’s legal now. The law didn’t change the fact that many companies and government entities still have drug-free workplace policies. Regardless of pot being legal in the state, you still can’t use pot if you work at one of those places and want to keep your job – or get a job at one of those places.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I agree. But just like the stoners don’t see why they can’t take their pot through Denver International Airport, they won’t see why employers can make those decisions. We’re on the verge of wastoid rights, man!!

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:58 PM

A member of the Obama administration stated yesterday that the ‘War on Drugs’ is going badly and that a major change – if not cancaellation – of the policy may occur soon.

The ‘War on Drugs’ is going badly? Maybe because the ‘Choom Gang Member and Chief’ has not only officially ‘surrendered’ the war bust has also SWITCHED SIDES through the legalization of pot.

Dumbing down and indoctrinaing our kids in school and addicting the adults to social governmet-funed programs designed to enslave Americans – making them dependent on social programs/’free’ govt handouts, he has also added the ‘trifecta’ of further destroying America’s famous work ethic and initiative by hooking Americans on drugs, increaing the potential for more Americans to willing to surrender their Constitutional rights for free money AND drugs!

…will the last American out please bring the flag?!

easyt65 on January 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Because you do realize, LEGAL pot sales would very likely displace NON-LEGAL sales. Unless that concept is too complex or something.

deadrody on January 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Tend to agree. Within a year, the supply chain will have improvd, allowing the legal stores to ten begin competing on price & quality, driving cost down.

As for setting up storefronts, just a matter of time for entrepreneurs to set up at the outskirts of no-ale zones. Much like porn stores located outside of city limits or even liquor stores at the edge of dry counties.

And given the choice of buying legal vs illegal, depending on the disincentives, I think most would prefer to be unhassled by demands of receipts, for which they have none if purchased illegally.

Plus aren’t residents allowed a few plants? If so, by the time spring rolls aropund, every smoker will have a few plants ready for harvesting.

Given the above the black market will diminish, especially if the price of dealing is costly on the enforcement front.

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Isn’t if funny that the only freedom we are afforded lately requires government regulation and hedonism? It is like the government is trying to lull the masses or something.

Squirrel….

melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 4:03 PM

This is silly. Of course sales were going to spike when it was legalized. There are people who have always been curious but law abiding, and now they can check it out without breaking the law.
Give it a few months, or at least a week or two.
fadetogray on January 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

There are numerous studies that show this is exactly what happens. Use goes up immediately after legalization but after a year the amount of users are about the same as prior to legalization.

tommyboy on January 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I agree. But just like the stoners don’t see why they can’t take their pot through Denver International Airport, they won’t see why employers can make those decisions. We’re on the verge of wastoid rights, man!!

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I’m sure they’ll get around to trying to change the drug-free workplace rules sometime soon as well.
But unless/until the federal government makes some major changes as well, anyone in Colorado who works for the federal government, especially DoD, still cannot use pot – and keep their job. And in places like Colorado Springs, where the military is the largest employment source (5 military bases and thousands of support contractors), there will not be a huge increase in pot use.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

But not everyone is running out to get some just because it’s legal now. The law didn’t change the fact that many companies and government entities still have drug-free workplace policies. Regardless of pot being legal in the state, you still can’t use pot if you work at one of those places and want to keep your job – or get a job at one of those places.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I would expect that over time, some of the private businesses will relax their drug testng standards, especially if some of the legal ramiifications for them having pot users on staff are reduced or mitigated. On the flip side demand for drug free employees could raise wages for such.

That’s how the invisible hand works.

We’ll see where it’s at after a couple of election cycles – how many other States join CO, or if CO swings back the other way.

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Back in my day, we called these people drug dealers.
drewwerd on January 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

And bars were called speakeasies. And TV was called radio.

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM

There are numerous studies that show this is exactly what happens. Use goes up immediately after legalization but after a year the amount of users are about the same as prior to legalization.

tommyboy on January 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Very similar economic response, I think, in how gun and ammo sales spike heavily whenever politicians talk about banning anything – or actually try – as what happened here in Colorado when the Dems pushed through their gun control laws.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I’ve heard a lot of people objecting to legalization “for the children.” Their fear being that allowing adults to buy and sell would result in making pot more available to kids.

In fact, the opposite is true. Today, in most places, it is easier for a teenager to get high than it is for him to get drunk. That is because alcohol is a regulated market. Sellers know that they will lose their license if sales to minors can be traced back to them. However, a black market is indifferent to such considerations.

A further note on pricing. One of the wonderful things about pot and the CO law is that citizens will be able to easily produce their very own supply. This means that prices will be low (once the first crops of home grown are ready for harvest). The ability of consumers to produce their own pot means that prices will never rise to the point that they could support a black market.

MJBrutus on January 9, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Isn’t if funny that the only freedom we are afforded lately requires government regulation and hedonism? It is like the government is trying to lull the masses or something. Squirrel…. melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Yeah I trust the govt more when they are locking us up by the tens of thousands for possessing plants.

I mean, if pot becomes legal nationwide, we’ll have trouble filling half the beds in our prisons!

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM

AH_C on January 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Yes. There will be businesses where the work is not so hard or hazardous, or they don’t depend on getting government security clearances, where they will allow for some level of pot use by employees.
But I expect there will be some potheads still getting fired because they think pot being legal means they can show up for work stoned. That situation is no different from alcohol – it’s legal, but if you drink at work or show up drunk you will get fired.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Dad gummit, $65 for an eighth now? ;-) It was $45 last week.

I live in a ski resort community. Drove by the (soon to be evicted) pot shop on Main St. the other night and they are still lined up. Mostly visitors I’d guess.

COgirl on January 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

COgirl on January 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Color me jealous that you have a pot shop on Main St :-)

MJBrutus on January 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Isn’t if funny that the only freedom we are afforded lately requires government regulation and hedonism? It is like the government is trying to lull the masses or something.

Squirrel….

melle1228 on January 9, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Bingo!

This has Frankfort School written all over it. Some people know it as “Cloward and Piven”, but it some of the early Frankforters who decided that if our proletariat were ever to revolt it would take a complete collapse of the system.

It’s bizarre to think that there are some people vowing to take care of the poor right now, so they can bankrupt the country and pull the safety net right out from underneath them, just to fulfill some process in an academic theory. For the Frankfort school, the purpose of dependency on government was not to take care of them, but to get people mad at the institutions that failed them and redirect that anger into Marxism.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

This means that prices will be low (once the first crops of home grown are ready for harvest). The ability of consumers to produce their own pot means that prices will never rise to the point that they could support a black market.

MJBrutus on January 9, 2014 at 4:13 PM

I’m sure you know this, but there’s already plenty of pot being grown privately, and already being harvested. Many of those people just no longer need to worry about getting busted for what they already have.
Depends on the size of the crop. I think the law says you can grow 6 plants for yourself. So anyone with a major (dealer level) crop underway can still get busted.

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Residents ARE allowed six plants, IIRC. This stuff is called “weed” for a reason…it grows like crazy. A dozen seeds and you’re set…unless the habit is such one can’t wait for the monster habit. I think Miracle-Gro is a great investment.

Also, aren’t the food pairings with cute sounding marujuana names in a Time article hilarious? Does this mean restaurants, believing pot smells better than nicotine, are going to allow smoking weed? Can’t imagine there aren’t laws…Colorado is chock FULL of laws.

Whatever happened to the instant deathknell of second hand smoke? Cannabis must be far more healthful than those nasty cigarettes!

Whoa.

marybel on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

dentarthurdent on January 9, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I heard 6 plant maximum as well. The fact is that people need not pay very high prices when they can just grow their own. The only question is what price point is motivation enough for a given person to decide it’s worth their effort.

MJBrutus on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Yeah I trust the govt more when they are locking us up by the tens of thousands for possessing plants.

I mean, if pot becomes legal nationwide, we’ll have trouble filling half the beds in our prisons!

Akzed on January 9, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Dude, relax and blaze one up. It’ll make that bad national debt seem miles away…

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

What if I’m just looking for a nickelbag?

Red Cloud on January 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Look for Mr. Peabody and his Way Back Machine first, Sherman.

Dad gummit, $65 for an eighth now? ;-) It was $45 last week.

I live in a ski resort community. Drove by the (soon to be evicted) pot shop on Main St. the other night and they are still lined up. Mostly visitors I’d guess.

COgirl on January 9, 2014 at 4:18 PM


“Dad gummit”?
Folks, you might want stay away from Grandma’s brownies from now on.

M240H on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Whatever happened to the instant deathknell of second hand smoke? Cannabis must be far more healthful than those nasty cigarettes!

Whoa.

marybel on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Well yeah. With out the filter, it lets all that health get in.

Axeman on January 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

marybel on January 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Will restaurants be able to serve it in other ways? Pot brownies come to find. I’m sure that many more delectable creations will arise :-)

MJBrutus on January 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

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