After two years, debate remains over marijuana legalization’s impacts
Ask Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper how marijuana legalization is going, now almost two years into a historic initiative of allowing licensed stores to sell cannabis to anyone over 21, and he offers this:
“In many ways, the first two years of marijuana legalization has been a testament to Coloradans and our ability to work together.”
Hickenlooper praises opposing sides for settling on common pot policies that he believes have so far helped the legalization rollout go smoothly. But what he stops short of saying is whether legalization, overall, is positive or negative for the state.
And that’s because nobody really knows yet.
Year Two of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado turned out to be Year Two of the impatient wait to find out whether this is a good idea.
Over the next week, The Denver Post will run a series of stories on some of the major talking points of legalization: stoned driving, pot in schools, the growth of the cannabis industry, the impact on communities. The stories will offer in-depth understanding of a bold social experiment that could have broad impact on Americans’ lives in the coming decades. They also won’t be able to answer whether that experiment is succeeding or failing.