The Colorado Report

With a growing number of U.S. states embracing the financial and social powers of cannabis, there has been much contention over the effects of the drug and its subsequent impact on the culture of Colorado, the nation’s first state to approve legalization.

The proof is in the pudding; in 2015, profits in the Colorado pot industry reached staggering heights beyond initial projections of $70m, and these numbers aren’t derived from pot sales alone. The money-making ventures continue to trickle in as cannabis-connoisseurs or really, anyone smart enough to capitalize on the cultural phenomenon, take the state by storm.

Wine tasting has been dethroned by the state’s budding pot tasting industry, which takes eager and willing participants on a journey through multiple strains of highly-potent marijuana, delving deep into their characteristics, varied smells, tastes and effects. After an evening of this, munchies are sure to run rampant. As such, users have enjoyed access to a unique offering of food and weed combinations not found just anywhere. One restaurant, Hapa Sushi, has been known to suggest pre-selected pairings like Pakalolo Shrimp with Pakistani Kush. The restaurant even prides itself in offering an environment designed to reduce paranoia. Talk about good service.

The state’s tourism industry is the true champion in the battle for pot-acceptance. Resorts offering all-inclusive cannabis camping and tours have gained a new and dedicated following among those looking to light up surrounded by the awe-inspiring landscapes of one of America’s most visually stunning states. Even to the pot nay-sayer, a weekend of food, drink, smoke and nature must sound like a good time. There are also the festivals: seas of marijuana smokers gathered to indulge in an evening of music and dance. The Colorado night sky shines upon a rising number of exciting events for pot-enthusiasts to indulge in.

Not all is dandy in the land of legalized marijuana, though. A division fills the Colorado air as a number of cities fail to embrace the newfound freedom to toke. Ethics aside, the financial benefits of legalization can’t be denied. The ever-growing number of pot-friendly activities to partake in is a major perk for Colorado residents and those that have flocked to the state in droves. Rumors of the state’s first pot-friendly theatre, the Pot Palladium, have been swirling for months. As the marriage between movies and marijuana is a love story that has stood the test of time, the Pot Palladium could rake in far more than your average theater. Here’s hoping.

The aftermath of marijuana legalization has transcended Colorado’s borders. A recent report by the LA Times examined the effects of relaxed U.S. drug laws on Mexican marijuana farms. Farmers interviewed by the newspaper reported a dramatic decrease in production and price-per-kilogram, which fell from $100 to $30 over a four-year period. The mere acknowledgment of this fact by the right wing may be enough to begin a larger conversation about the ineffectiveness of many of the nation’s drug laws. It’s a conversation that has been placed on the backburner in the face of greater issues like national security, the economy and immigration. With the start of a new year and a new opportunity to embrace change, it’s a good time to broach the subject once more.

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