SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Marijuana is a budding industry in Colorado. There are more than 2,500 marijuana-related business licensed in the state.

“Now it’s in your face, now it’s on our internet sights, on our billboards, in neighborhoods and in the store,” said Greenwood Village, CO police Chief John Jackson.

With legal cannabis in Colorado for the last three years, marketing and advertising of the product are shaping social views.

Diane Carlson with Smart Colorado, a group working to limit marijuana’s reach, says weed as a part of everyday life is concerning.

Prop 64: As Recreational Pot Legalization Vote Looms, What Can California Learn From Colorado?

“People are viewing these new products and potencies and intake methods that have never been seen before as safe,” she explained.

“If social consumption becomes more visible, that will normalize behavior for youth and make marijuana look more fun,” said Andrew Freedman.

He’s the Colorado Director of Marijuana Coordination.

“Normalization will be something we’ll have to battle,” he continued.

Another fight may be for the state’s image.

“There is some anecdotal evidence that there is a correlation between the homeless population and legalization,” said Freedman.

Prop 64: Would Recreational Pot Legalization Really Ease Pressure On Police?

Denver’s population is steadily growing, which may be why the number of people living on the streets has also risen.

“We are definitely attracting a population of people who are looking to consume drugs,” said Stephanie Hopper.

Hopper owns a Denver Dispensary. She’s is working with lawmakers and police to educate people and crack down on misuse.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good on the city and it’s not what Colorado is about,” said Hopper.

So will California have a similar struggle with mainstream marijuana? Especially considering medical cannabis has been used for two decades, but hasn’t been pushed publically.

“If we do want to allow for it to be advertised, we have to accept the very real reality that we can’t stop minors from being exposed to it,” said Rosalie Pacula, a researcher with RAND’s Drug Policy Researcher Center.

Prop 64: How Much Money Could Legal Weed Bring In – And Where Would It Go?

“The regulations under Prop 64 are completely inadequate to deal with that,” she continued.

If Prop 64 is passed, companies:

— Can’t be within 600 feet of a school
— Can’t advertise directly to minors
— Must prove that more than 70 percent of their audience is over 21
— And CAN advertise on billboards and the radio, unlike tobacco which is banned from those mediums.

Pacula says there aren’t enough restrictions to protect kids.

But is that a bad thing? Supporters of Prop 64 say it’s not.

“It’s readily available right now,” said Nate Bradley. “It’s readily available in our kids’ high schools.”

Bradley is a lobbyist for the cannabis industry and believes the prevalence of pot makes it less appealing.

Prop 64: As THC Levels Hit New Highs, Health Effects Of Marijuana Still A Big Unknown

“It makes it boring when it’s okay for mom and dad to have it around the house,” said Bradley.

So should marijuana be around California’s homes? Some people we’ve talked to during our five-part series say legal pot could bring promise.

“We’ve seen over 10,000 jobs directly in this industry,” said Brian Vicente, an author of Colorado’s marijuana law.

“It’s definitely profitable.” Said one marijuana business owner.

“People are ready for a new more sensible approach,” said Mason Tvert with Colorado’s Marijuana Policy Project.

Whether recreational marijuana comes to California at all is up to you, the voters, on Nov. 8.

“There is a lot of work your community will have to do because there are a lot of questions that will have to be answered,” explained Freedman.

Comments (16)
  1. Bill Ball says:

    sorry honey, but nothing can hurt California’s image – the damage has already been done – that’s why there is a net migration out of the state

    1. Eric John says:

      Hurt it’s image?? California practically midwived weed into the country’s vernacular. It has been on the vanguard for legalization since the beginning.

  2. Allen Crider says:

    Well, it’s now obvious that the board at CBS Sacramento are against legalization!

  3. Gene says:

    “Prop 64: Would Weed Legalization Hurt California’s Image?” This is like a serial killer asking if cannibalizing his victims would make people think less of him. You can’t make a turd smell worse.

    1. California is the 6th largest economic engine on the planet, bigger than most countries. we design and build much of the high tech for the planet including the computer you used to post that drivel. We produce the lion’s share of video and audio entertainment media for the globe. We can swim in the ocean and snow ski in the same day. We have Yosemite and numerous other beautiful national parks, the best climate and yes some mighty good cannabis. If that bothers you please stay out of California, we’re doing fine without you. Communist China might suit you better.

      1. Schuyler King says:

        A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks each US state’s financial health based on short- and long-term debt and other key fiscal obligations, such as unfunded pen­sions and healthcare benefits. California ranks a low, #44 for fiscal solvency. You keep on California-dreamin’.

      2. “6th largest economy” was true 30 years ago, but not today. Those tech products are built in China, not Cali. Movie studios shoot their films in lower-cost locales like Missouri and British Columbia. The continuing drought means not much snow. Yosemite is an overcrowded tourist trap. Meanwhile a third of Cali is on Medicaid, and the foolish democrats still think we have a budget surplus, even with hundreds of billions of dollars of public pension debt. California is busy importing Mexico’s poor, while taxpayers and companies flee the state.

  4. More like reinforce Cali’s image

  5. Ready Set Go says:

    Does keeping marijuana illegal hurt California’s image?

  6. John Thomas says:

    Just the opposite, of course. – California’s brand is largely about being on the cutting edge of progressive change. The saying is, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

    Now as California let prohibitionist forces and Greedy Sellers Against Legalization (GSAL) sabotage legalization in 2010 with Prop 19, other more nimble states have leaped to the forefront.

    If California fails to catch up with Prop 64 in November, we risk falling vastly behind progressive change in the rest of the country. – That would be the worst blow to the state!

    1. Califor20 says:

      The MCRSA will still take effect in 2018 even if we don’t go full blown legal next month… On paper we’ll seem less progressive, but we did invent the industry and lead the MMJ revolution, and a little thing like full legalization never kept any Californian from a good sesh.

  7. If it weren’t for food stamps, welfare, and low-income tax credit refunds, these potheads wouldn’t have any disposable income for their addictions.
    In a real world, they’d have to use most of their cash-only, underground economy paychecks for rent, food, gas, utilities, phone.
    But thanks to the democrats, that untaxed income can go directly for pot.

    In this way, the food stamps EBT card carried by so many Californians, helps pay for a lot of pot.

    1. John Thomas says:

      What a sick, vicious hater and liar. – No one buys that kind of demonizing anymore. – SAMHSA research determined more than 100 million Americans have consumed marijuana. That’s near HALF the of-age population. There are an estimated 30 to 50 million current consumers. The vast majority consume moderately – on the weekends or less, and are successful, hard-working, respected members of their communities. They are from all walks of life and loved by the families they support.

      Since we now know marijuana is less “addictive” than coffee, is not a significant cause of auto accidents, does not fuel violence like alcohol, and is far less harmful than alcohol, this is no surprise.

      Every person who switches from Budweiser to buds improves their health tremendously – as well as the lives of their family and community.

      Smart employers of the near future will prefer their employees consume near harmless marijuana (at home, after work), rather than addictive, very harmful, violence-fueling, traffic-carnage causing, hangover-producing alcohol.

      Marijuana is as American as apple pie – and healthier.

  8. Pot is a dangerous addictive drug, no matter what its loser users say.
    There’s nothing medicinal about it.
    It’s just another recreational party drug, like cocaine.

    Pot destroys lives and families, just as much as any other controlled substance.
    It feeds the underground cash-only economy, just like copper thieves, meth makers, and illegals.

  9. If you’re an employer, this is probably the last straw: you have to pay them $15/hr *and* let them smoke pot on the job, like a worthless zombie!?! ha,ha,ha.

  10. John Thomas says:

    Joseph Dietrich – You’re one sick puppy. – Get professional help, quick!

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