“We’re Getting There”: Why Colorado Had the Best 4/20 Ever

  Unknown2 “We’re Getting There”: Why Colorado Had the Best 4/20 Ever Over the last week Colorado has been testing the marijuana legalization legislation waters, seeing just how things will be next year as the state has agreed to begin legally growing and distributing marijuana as soon as 2014. Late on Thursday two bills were proposed, both addressing how a post-legalization state will run. House Bill 1317 - sponsored by House Democrat  Dan Pabon - specifics how marijuana retail stores will be run. Major points of the bill include limits on the amount out-of-state visitors can purchase while in Colorado (1/4 of an ounce), that growers and sellers of marijuana can operate separately unlike with medical dispensaries, and that the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division will oversee the recreational use of the drug as well as its medicinal use, becoming simply the Marijuana Enforcement Division. The second bill - House Bill 1318 - was primarily concerned with the drug’s taxation. Sponsored by Jonathan Singer, a House Democrat, a 15% sales tax would be placed on recreational marijuana sales and a matching rate excised on sales between producers and distributors. Both bills face another six rounds of voting before facing the Colorado general public, who must sign off on the taxes before they can become law.   Last week also saw a flurry of marijuana friendly celebrations across the state, as visitors and residents rallied, partied, learned how to make better hash brownies and researched the newest weed-related gadgets on the market. Miguel Lopez, organizer of the rally in Denver, called his event the “word’s largest 4/20 rally” and predicted as many as 80,000 turnouts. Denver city police said the number in attendance was under this number, but would not give an estimate of the crowd size in Civil Center Park. In a bizarre twist of events, three people were wounded, including a dog, when gunshots were set off. Given last week’s series of tragic and mournful events in Boston, active fire was met with possible escalated panic, causing thousands to flee and giving rise to several trampling victim. The case has been taken up by the city’s Gang Unit, who are appealing along with Denver Police for video footage from those who attended the rally in hopes that as in Boston, the sheer volume of onlookers holding recording devices will provide enough data to present a lead. “Everybody in this world has a camera nowadays, so if anybody has any pictures that might assist us, we’d like those as well,” said Sonny Jackson, police spokesman.   In Denver’s Exdo Event center, similar activities were occurring, but according to the happy 10,000 plus enthusiasts who attended the High Times Magazine party - the Cannabis Cup - Denver was the perfect place to spend 4/20.  In previous years the event has been toted as a more medicinal focused series of lectures, classes and good-grazing, but with the state’s recreational legalization in place, things shifted slightly, giving the weekend a more recreational slant. All and all last week proved to be an interesting one in Colorado, one of the first two states to enact recreational marijuana legislation. Regardless of some setbacks seen at Saturday’s rally, things seemed to be as smooth as smoke in the mountain city, seeing few charges or police intervention from a law enforcement stance. Pro-legalization lawyer Brian Vincente was hopeful before a panel on Sunday called “Colrado’s Revolution/Evolution.” “It’s going to take a lot of time to get through this,” Vincente said, “but we’re getting there.”

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