Colorado has seen a lot of change over the past five years, with a growing economy, a growing population, and a growing disdain for development. But nothing seems to stir the pot like cannabis. Since Colorado voters approved legalizing recreational use of the plant in November 2012, both the state and the marijuana industry have grappled with endless issues. Stories about jamokes not being able to handle their shit after eating edibles, the sad reality that there's virtually no place for people to consume outside of their homes, the lack of true banking for the industry, banned pesticides showing up in commercial cultivations, and where tax money from pot sales should go have been a steady presence not just on westword.com, but in media outlets around the world.
In honor of Amendment 64's fifth anniversary, here are some our favorite, most viewed and most interesting stories about pot posted on westword.com over the past five years, grouped by category.
Looks can be deceiving. Example: edibles
Edibles – or, more important, the people eating them – have been quite a headache for regulators and business owners. Reports of accidental ingestion by children and pets, deaths linked to edibles, and accidental overconsumption dominated headlines during the first few years, though many of those fires have since been put out, or at least contained. Much more regulated than in the early days, the edibles sector has moved on to smaller doses and new production techniques. A recap of some of our stories:
Marijuana: How Will Testing of Cannabis Products and Edibles Work?
Warrant: Richard Kirk May Have Been on Pain Meds, Pot Edible When He Killed His Wife
Marijuana Edibles Study: More Toddlers Are Accidentally Eating Them, Getting Sick
New York Times' Maureen Dowd Wants Pot Edibles Stamped With Stoned Skull and Bones?
Marijuana Edible Contributed to Levy Thamba's Fatal Fall, Coroner Says
THC Limits For Pot Edibles Pushed by Leaders of State's Product-Potency Working Group
Photos: Twenty Marijuana Edibles That Risk Copyright Lawsuits
Pot Edibles Lawsuit Filed as More People Say They Were Sickened at Denver County Fair
Luke Goodman Killed Himself in Keystone Because of Pot Edibles, Family Says
Number of Denver Trick-or-Treaters Dosed With Pot Edibles: Zero — Again
Marijuana Edibles Come Under New Colorado Regulations on October 1
Three Things You Should Know About Microdosing With Edibles
MED: No More Edibles Shaped Like Animals, Fruit or Humans
Social cannabis consumption largely takes place at private events and venues.
Amendment 64's language bans consumption in "open and public" places – words that have caused a lot of confusion for cannabis advocates, lawmakers and police. Numerous pot clubs and 420-friendly events have been shut down by local governments and undercover police; many never reopened. Although many such events and clubs try to occupy a gray area by claiming to be invitation- or members-only, creative law enforcement or zoning regulations can usually push them out if they become too big. There have been attempts to license and regulate social use, both at the state and city level, and numerous pot-club proposals have been created — and killed — at the state legislature. Finally, Denver advocates successfully passed a city initiative in November 2016 to create a licensing program allowing businesses to apply for private consumption areas...but so far, none has. Here are some of our biggest stories on the social-consumption beat:
Denver on 4/20 Weekend: 130 Arrests or Citations, 22 Jailed
Marijuana: Maryjane's Cannabis Social Club Still Closed After Police Raid
Denver Cops Raid POTUS, Grassroots Pot Clubs on 4/20 Weekend
iBake Denver's Key to Success as a Pot Club Is Staying Out of Denver — For Now
Marijuana Clubs Moratorium Moves On in Springs: What's It Mean for Denver?
Social Pot Use Initiative to Be Withdrawn After Deal With City, Business Officials
Inside the Hopper, Denver's Mobile (and Free!) Pot-Smoking Lounge
Why Denver NORML Isn't Supporting Social Pot Use Initiative 300
Social Consumption Coming to Denver, as 300 Officially Passes
Draft of Rules and Regulations for Denver Marijuana Social Consumption Finalized
Is It a Crime for Friends to Consume Cannabis on a Front Porch?
Colorado NORML Chapters Lobby at the Capitol for Cannabis Consumption Bill
International Church of Cannabis Stung by Undercover Denver Police on 4/20
Smoke Lounge Owners Battle Trinidad Over Signage, Pot Rules
Social Pot Consumption Advocates May Sue City of Denver
State Liquor Board Shuts Down Chelloween Bash at Tennyson's Tap