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Colorado cannabis sales

The Herald reports:

Politicians in Colorado have reported that “the sky didn’t fall in” when cannabis went on sale to the public for the first time, leading to calls for the drug to be legalised in other US states.

In Denver and at ski resorts around Colorado, dozens of shops licensed to sell cannabis to anyone aged over 21 reported few problems.

Barbara Brohl, the director of Colorado’s Revenue Department – which hopes to raise millions of dollars in taxes on the drug – said: “Is the sky falling? No, I don’t think the sky is falling today. Everything’s gone pretty smoothly.”

Andy Williams, the owner of Medicine Man, one of the first legal shops to open in Denver, said: “A lot of people around the country were looking for something bad to happen here and it didn’t. A lot of state legislators are going to take note and say ‘We can do that too and help our citizens out’.”

Williams served 650 customers and sold about 6.8kg of cannabis.

The data from this law change will be fascinating. Will the number of people who use cannabis increase, decrease or stay the same? Will it lower the price of the drug on the black market and reduce profits for criminals? Will drug related harms increase, decrease or stay the same? How much money will the state make from legal sales from it?

Other states and countries will be in a good position to decide, based on the data, if legalising cannabis is beneficial or not. The fact 48 other states have not legalised, will also allow for comparisons.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.