Dear Stoner: Now that other states have legalized marijuana, what does that mean for Colorado? Will the roads be less crowded?
Dear Kip: Probably not. I’m not even going to get into the whole “legal weed is why this state is so crowded and more expensive” discussion, but maybe that will be settled over the next year, when Coloradans see yet more transplants coming into the state — even though several other states just legalized marijuana. Since 2012, Denver has regularly been in the top three metro areas experiencing employment, population and rental growth, and while that growth has slowed since 2015, this city is still growing. California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalize recreational marijuana on November 8, and although some California cities are popular with millennials, Boston and Las Vegas aren’t projected to experience anywhere near the growth in employment and residents that booming Western cities such as Denver, Portland and Seattle have.
California could become the new destination for pot transplants, and Massachusetts could enjoy being the first East Coast utopia for the next few years, but don’t expect either of them to drain our state and its highways of people. Colorado’s growing tech industry and outdoor amenities will continue to bring people here. It’s time for “natives” to get over that.
Dear Stoner: Will Trump destroy legal weed?
Dear Quaking: Donald Trump said a lot of things during his candidacy, but vowing to destroy legal marijuana was not one of them. Although he’s not as hip to the plant as our man Bernie was, I’d be surprised if President Donny tried to burn such a cash crop to the ground, especially with that golden goose California legalizing it recreationally in the same election. Still, during a town-hall meeting in Wisconsin in March, Trump was on the fence, saying, “I’m watching Colorado very carefully.... I’m getting some very negative reports coming out of Colorado...so we’ll see what happens.”
Trump’s stances on immigration softened as his campaign went on, and I expect him to get softer on legal pot once he’s in office, too. Four states legalized recreational marijuana in the same election that he won, and Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota (all of which were red states this year) rolled back tight restrictions on medical marijuana. Since he’s a man who’s all about making the deal, I don’t see Trump putting an end to thousands of jobs and billions of consumer dollars.
Send questions to email@example.com or call the potline at 303-293-2222.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.