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Colorado pot law emboldens supporters elsewhere

Jan. 4, 2014 at 3:45 PM   |   Comments

DENVER, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Marijuana advocates said the smooth rollout of legalized recreational pot smoking in Colorado could serve as a model for the country.

Some critics predicted in advance of Wednesday's opening day there would be long lines of unruly customers fighting over a scant supply of pot at newly opened recreational marijuana stores, but advocates and those opposed agreed nothing of the sort took place.

Crediting a cooperative spirit that brought together marijuana industry leaders, police, elected officials and bureaucrats tasked with overseeing the rollout, those involved celebrated a problem-free start to recreational marijuana sales, the Denver Post reported Friday.

"We discovered that we all had a mutual goal to get this launched very efficiently and effectively," said Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the recreational marijuana ballot initiative passed in November.

Among the outreach efforts the two sides undertook together were 50,000 flyers handed out Wednesday at pot shops, encouraging responsible use of the drug -- including refraining fro driving under the influence, restricting use to those 21 and older and not carrying marijuana across state lines.

The relative success of Colorado's rollout has emboldened marijuana advocates in other states, CNN said.

In Massachusetts, for example, pro-pot activists applauded Colorado -- and argued it could serve as a model for their state.

"The essence of what's happening is that people are getting educated," said William Downing, treasurer of the pro-marijuana group Bay State Repeal. "People are learning. The rest of the nation is finding out that they have been lied to about cannabis by their government for many decades."

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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