Colorado's Legal Marijuana Sales Bring "Common Sense" Justice and Savings

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Alexandra Ringe, 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

Colorado's Legal Marijuana Sales Bring "Common Sense" Justice and Savings

NEW YORK - Tomorrow, January 1, 2014, Colorado will become the first state in the country where state-licensed stores selling recreational marijuana are open for business. Under a system of taxation and regulation, these stores, which are located in five of Colorado’s counties, will serve people 21 or older. The possession, purchase, and sale of marijuana will no longer carry the threat of criminal charges.

Ezekiel Edwards, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project, had this reaction:

"In Colorado, we see the first state in the nation to implement a truly common-sense approach to marijuana. By legalizing marijuana, Colorado has stopped the needless and racially biased enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws.

"This change will bring both justice and savings. Colorado will save millions previously spent arresting and penalizing people who use marijuana, and will instead generate millions in revenue through the taxation and regulation of its sale and possession.

"With Washington State next to implement marijuana legalization and other states strongly considering enacting similar laws, we believe this marks the beginning of the end of the nation's decades-long War on Marijuana and its harmful human and fiscal toll."

More information about legalization of marijuana in Colorado: http://aclu-co.org/

More information about racial disparities in the enforcement of marijuana laws: https://www.aclu.org/billions-dollars-wasted-racially-biased-arrests

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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