DENVER — Sunday marks ten years since Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
It was a historic moment not only for the state but for the nation.
Ricardo Baca is the CEO and founder of Grasslands, a marketing agency that works with cannabis businesses in Colorado.
“You know, now it seems so normalized because we’ve lived with this for a decade,” Baca said. “But when you put yourself in our shoes back in the day, we were the first in the world to do this. And really, truly everything has changed since then.”
Several other states have followed Colorado’s lead.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states now allow recreational marijuana use. Thirty-seven states allow some form of medicinal use.
“For so long, we’ve just been listening to a campaign of fear in terms of what can happen and what will happen. And now 10 years later, we’re seeing that a lot of that fear was misplaced,” Baca said.
In 2012, prominent politicians opposed Amendment 64, including then-Governor John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
At a recent event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the passage of Amendment 64, both leaders said they were wrong.
“I was wrong 10 years ago,” Hancock said. “You can do this right, and you can do it responsibly.”
“It really was a question of a societal wave,” Hickenlooper said. “If you’re going to be in the forefront of something like that, you better be pretty darn sure. I feel pretty darn sure now…