As the 2014 cannabis cup hit Denver this weekend, it was the first time the event was held in a city with legal pot sales. And some 30,000 people are expected to show up to the convention devoted to all things marijuana. (Via KRDO)
But did the legalization actually make a difference for the celebrations?
This was the scene just last year on Hippy Hill in San Francisco. In California it's legal to possess up to an ounce of ganja but you can't sell it. (Via YouTube / Odyssey420Show)
And in Denver last year, this video shows masses of people gathered for 4/20 and smoking — though it doesn't indicate if that's marijuana. (Via YouTube / DenverzWar81)
So yes, as crowds now "flock" to a convention center in Denver to buy weed in all ways, shapes, and forms — the real change can actually be seen in the economy. An owner of a supply store told USA Today, "All the businesses are benefiting ... We called probably like 50 people trying to get stuff done." Also ...
"These growers are not only growing pot but they're actually growing the real estate market, too." (Via KUSA)
And The Huffington Post broke down some numbers, reporting, "The first month of legal sales generated $14 million," and that was just from 59 marijuana businesses. Not to mention, "Denver has still not descended into the crime-filled hellscape that some members of law enforcement predicted. In fact, overall crime in Mile High City appears to be down since legal pot sales began."
It's also been estimated that if pot were legalized throughout the country and taxed like alcohol, it could mean $13 billion more for federal coffers. (Via The Huffington Post)
So, as far as the economy goes, a lot has changed since Colorado legalized pot — but we should note through all the festivities, smoking in public is still not legal. As of Saturday evening, before 4/20, Denver police had already cited 22 people for public consumption of marijuana.