When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales, Denver embraced the opportunity with open arms.
The city is now home to more than 62 percent of all Colorado recreational marijuana retailers, who cashed in on $14 million in sales in January alone.
Other cities weren't so eager: heeding legalization opponents' safety concerns, several pushed off licensing retail sales. Some banned retail sales altogether.
"There will be many harmful consequences," Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver warned in a September 2012 statement. "Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana, and pot for sale everywhere."
Thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, 'Give me your marijuana, give me your money.
One California sheriff went on Denver television to warn that, as a result of marijuana in his county, "thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, 'Give me your marijuana, give me your money.'"
Three months into its legalization experiment, Denver isn't seeing a widespread rise in crime. Violent and property crimes actually decreased slightly, and some cities are taking a second look at allowing marijuana sales.
"We had folks, kind of doomsayers, saying, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to have riots in the streets the day they open,'" Denver City Council President Mary Beth Susman, a supporter of legal marijuana, says. "But it was so quiet."
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