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article imageOp-Ed: Clock ticking down to first legal weed in the nation

By Robert Weller     Dec 31, 2013 in Lifestyle
Denver - John Denver's Rocky Mountain High attracted many people to Colorado. Now the real thing will be legal, effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
The Denver area will have 16 medicinal marijuana outlets that have met strict rules to allow them to sell recreational weed, according to Westword.
The magazine lists only five locations outside the Denver area in the entire state where recreational weed can be bought. Neither Aspen nor Boulder is among them.
The late Hunter S. Thompson, who once ran for sheriff in Aspen on a platform of legalizing pot, and Allen Ginsberg, the beat poet from Boulder who lamented the hassle of importing cannabis in “Howl,” will likely be turning over in their graves.
A handful of more outlets may be added by Jan. 1, but the state and local governments have been doing everything possible to delay the openings. Store workers have to be fingerprinted, and inventories have to be kept as if the cannabis was oxycodone or Percocet.
Washington state, which also voted to legalize marijuana, is even slower. Their first outlets won't open until the spring.
In Colorado, as in Washington, no open or public consumption of marijuana is allowed, but it was unclear what would happen to anyone who seemed to be doing just that. District attorneys and police, in the Denver Metro Area, have made clear they want nothing to do with people holding amounts of an ounce or less unless they are selling it or sharing with children. It also wasn't clear under what law an offender would be prosecuted.
The state health department has taken more than six weeks to process medicinal marijuana cards, even though they get $35 for each one delivered. Some patients have waited more than three months. It is estimated that more than 100,000 have applied.
There is growing evidence, and it will grow faster now that some research is being allowed, that medicinal marijuana helps with a wide range of illnesses and injuries, especially marijuana primarily made up of CBD (cannabidiol). Unlike the better known THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, don’t expect to get high.
Operators of outlets that are opening are expecting to become millionaires, though it costs tens even hundreds of thousands of dollars to open.
The feds have promised to stay on the sidelines, unless drug cartels get involved or marijuana is sold to children.
The latter does not include a handful of children who have moved to the state because it is the only place they can get marijuana treatments that work when virtually nothing else will.
Expect to see marijuana in a variety of forms, even drinks. There are the usual items that are smoked, plus tinctures and salves.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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