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Effective marijuana reform is not an easy process but Colorado has proved that it is possible. Colorado has proved itself to be the state to look towards for guidance as other states blaze their paths into a legal cannabis environment as well.  We are nearing a new year. On January 1st, Colorado will have had legal recreational cannabis sales and consumption for 2 years.  I have lived in this state for nearly a year and can say that this transition to a legal recreational state has worked incredibly well from the consumer standpoint. Cannabis is expressed in a very similar manner to how the microbrew beer movement is expressed. Cannabis strains and species are conversed about on an intellectual level as consumers highlight on the various feelings they’ve experienced as well as the medicinal benefits 1 strain can achieve greater than another. I was recently in a conversation with friends that described how the high-CBD strain, Harlequin, increased their attentiveness while they code software projects. He said he no longer uses his prescription Adderall to battle his diagnosed ADHD disorder. In my opinion, the more we remove manufactured synthetic drugs from our bodies and replace them with natural remedies, the more we are heading in the correct direction.

Stereotypes of cannabis are burning up in Colorado as more and more working professionals consume cannabis and speak out about it. As venture capitalists, lawyers, doctors, and state officials enjoy the benefits of working and living in a legal cannabis environment, we as a society find that the token “stoner” nickname is not living up to its name any longer. Colorado is proving to the world that consumers will continue to live their lives, go to work, pick their children up from school, and maintain positive lifestyles in a legal cannabis state with effective marijuana reform and regulations.

The state regulatory and compliance bodies that have been setup are maintaining a safe, secure, and functional cannabis marketplace. This is helping to supply the many residents and visitors with the peace of mind to allow their natural curiosities to lead them to discovering cannabis in their respective ways without outside pressure forcing them to try it or not. What you find in Colorado is the stigma of “fitting in”, “being cool” and any peer pressure situations of consuming cannabis is vanishing. Personally, some times when I am in a situation where I am offered to share in a smoke session with friends or colleagues, I will decline on the offer and thank them for their hospitality due to my own personal reasons. Upon declining, I have never been egged on to rethink my decision nor have I felt pressure to smoke from those around me. Cannabis consumption is a personal choice we all make and when the legality issue of consumption is removed, the “cool factor” is removed as well. We are free to make our decision based on personal reasons and those you encounter in your daily lives respect your decision. What you find is a state population that takes the topic seriously and with empathetic understanding that we are all left to our own decision as to whether or not to partake in cannabis activities on a case-by-case basis and that it is completely acceptable to not partake and remain around others who choose to.

When out-of-state vacationers make their way to our beautiful state they are allowed to let their curiosity guide them to decide whether to try cannabis or not. When they head back to their respective states, they take with them the understanding that a culture can survive and flourish with cannabis around them. They feel the pride and respect we share with our circles and that it’s 100% acceptable to accept or pass when the blunt and bowl makes its way around the circle to us. Our state’s population is molding the culture other states have an opportunity to embody within their own culture and that is why Colorado is the beacon for which other states should look unto as they create their respective pathways to a legal cannabis state as well.

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