Since William Breathes is under the weather, we're digging up a time capsule from January 3, 2014 -- two days after the sale of recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado. Here's that blast from the recent past: Judging from the national and international media circus surrounding the legalized sale of cannabis over the last few days, one would figure that the same would have been true for the moment when pot became illegal back in the day. Specifically, back in March of 1917, when Colorado outlawed the plant -- years before the federal government and most other states did so.
But that wasn't the case at all.
In fact, it wasn't even front-page news in most of the papers around Colorado. You'd have to dig deep to even find mention of it. Which, of course, we got stoned and did.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Not only was the story buried on the seventh page of the Oak Creek Times out of Oak Creek in Routt County, but cannabis only got a brief mention as "Indian hemp" -- and not even in a full sentence: The bill made the use and cultivation of cannabis a misdemeanor; those who broke the law were subject to a fine of between $10 and $100 and up to a month in jail. By 1929, the sale, possession and distribution of marijuana was made a felony. The federal government didn't criminalize pot until 1937.