January 2, 2014 12:27 am

British Columbians warned about legal marijuana sales in Colorado, Washington


A U.S. Iraq war victim who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder was the first customer in Denver to legally purchase recreational marijuana today.

Within months Washington State will be doing the same as organizers try to legalize pot in many more states.

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“A lot of folks have been referring to what’s happening in Colorado as an experiment with legal marijuana,” says Mason Avert, Denver Marijuana Policy co-director. “But in fact, the experiment was marijuana prohibition and that experiment dramatically failed.”

Sensible BC’s so-called ‘Cannabus Tour’ last fall failed to get the required number of signatures that could have triggered a province-wide referendum. Organizers in B.C. note that the amount of people signing up to legalize marijuana in B.C. would have been enough to trigger a referendum in Colorado or Washington State.

“I’m thrilled that it’s happening there and I’m a little jealous that we’re not going to be having that here in British Columbia,” says Dana Larsen, director of Sensible BC. “In B.C. we’ve seen possession charges more than double over the past six years and in Colorado they’ve legalized, and in Washington they’re on the verge of having their own legal marijuana stores as well.”

Sensible BC plans to relaunch its campaign next year, and believes it will be an easier sell here once Canadians see Colorado collect an estimated 70 million dollars in taxes from the sale of marijuana, and that does not include a multi-billion dollar secondary industry.

But for now, B.C. residents be warned. Because marijuana is still illegal on a national level in the United States, the mere mention that you might be crossing to smoke marijuana could be enough for American border guards to turn you around, and maybe even ban you.

– With files from Ted Chernecki. 

© 2014 Shaw Media

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