Two weeks after Colorado allowed retail stores to begin selling recreational marijuana to adults, Denver’s new “marijuana czar” reports that it’s all quiet on the Western Front.
Police have issued only nine citations since Jan. 1 for public pot consumption.
“We were very lucky that everything went so smoothly,” Ashley Kilroy reported to a Denver City Council committee, according to the Denver Post.
Police Chief Robert White said that in addition to the public smoking citations, there were seven robberies at marijuana business, but only one was a recreational pot retailer. He said the incidents didn’t constitute a spike in crime.
“Looking at the number of burglaries that we have in general and the number of burglaries we have of dispensaries, that number is probably relatively consistent,” he said.
With pot sales proceeding with apparently few problems, the state is focusing on keeping motorists safe. The Colorado Department of Transportation was recently awarded a $430,000 federal grant to help prevent stoned driving and to help train cops to notice when drivers are high.
Much of the money will be spent on messaging inside pot shops and television advertising similar to “The Heat is On” anti-drunk driving campaign. Motorists who are caught with 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their systems can be charged with DUI.
“There are some who do not feel that marijuana can impair driving but it does,” said CDOT director Darrell Lingk in a Reuters article. “Marijuana affects reaction time, short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, concentration and perception of time and distance.”
In other marijuana news, Republican Rep. Vicki Marble will introduce a bill preventing food stamp benefit cards from being used in marijuana stores. According to the Denver Post, Marble has been mocked for reacting to fake news stories about the practice that ran in early January, but Marble has been working on the bill since August.
It’s already illegal to use the cards in liquor stores. Marble’s bill would also ban their use in strip clubs as well as marijuana dispensaries.
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