In a nation where consumer spending is a central part of gauging economic vitality, Colorado’s first day of legal commercial pot sales is turning heads with the estimated $1 million shop owners are reporting to have made statewide.
The news comes as some social conservatives and drug war proponents continue casting aspersions on the Rocky Mountain State’s move to legalize the plant. David Brooks of the New York Times wrote a critical essay earlier this week, where he argued the legalization of pot works against what he described as a “moral ecology” where restrictions on civil liberties serves a larger collective good. The irony of a conservative columnist misinterpreting the nature of collective good aside, the immediate reality of legalized marijuana seems to be one of general economic benefit, while lacking the uglier aspects to consumer crazes common among other consumption based events.
Over “Black Friday” of this past year, BlackFridayDeathsCount.com reported a total of 7 deaths and 90 injuries from the annual madhouse of consumer competition, which is down from previous years. Over what some media outlets are dubbing “green Wednesday,” there were no deaths nor injuries reported – -save for a few by satirical fake news site The Daily Currant– on Colorado’s first day of legal pot sales.
Presently, 24 stores are open and authorized to sell pot to adults with ID, over 21 years of age. Despite state legality, the federal prohibition and subsequent legislation aimed at bolstering the U.S. war on drugs makes banking for the area businesses difficult, with federal banking regulation still prohibiting banks from doing business with pot growers and sellers. Yet beyond these banking issues, the state itself remains cautiously optimistic about the industry, which is expected to generate upwards of $60 million in tax revenues and savings in the first year alone.