Colorado Legislature gives final approval to historic marijuana bills |

Colorado Legislature gives final approval to historic marijuana bills

John Ingold/The Denver Post

— The Colorado Legislature made history Wednesday, becoming the first in the country to pass laws regulating recreational marijuana sales and use.

But lawmakers arrived at the historic moment more with trepidation than with enthusiasm about the future in a state where anyone 21 and older soon will be able to buy marijuana in special retail stores.

"This is a true game-changer for our state," Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, said in raising concerns about the impact of marijuana legalization on kids. "And so I think it is important that we do our best to implement the right regulatory environment and fund it."

If Gov. John Hickenlooper signs the four major bills on marijuana that the Legislature passed this year — and he has indicated he will — this is what the future will hold:

■ Marijuana will be sold in specially licensed stores that can also sell pot-related items like pipes. Only Colorado residents can own or invest in the stores, and only current medical-marijuana dispensary owners can apply to open recreational pot shops for the first nine months. The first stores will open around Jan. 1, 2014.

Read the full story at The Denver Post’s website.

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