The Colorado Question, The Beginning of the End of The Federal Marijuana Prohibition.
Amendment 64 was passed on November 6, 2012 making Colorado the first state in the country which allows"for adults 21 and over, as well as commercial cultivation, manufacture, and sale, effectively regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol." As of January 1, 2014 this law has been in effect in the state of Colorado. The doors opened to these new dispensaries allowing for the legal sale of marijuana, the only problem is the doors to the black market are open as well and the competition may get ugly.
The world is watching the social experiment and many want it to fail. The issue in Colorado is the way the law has been established almost seems like it was setup to fail. There are too few stores that can sell marijuana causing supply and demand to drive up the prices of legal marijuana. Even though sales at the dispensaries have initially gone well, once the novelty wears off customers may go back to the dealer who can still sell $10 - $20 cheaper than what the store can. This probably issue isnt going to be the one that reinstates a strict prohibition but it is one that can shine a negative light on the legal dispensaries. If marijuana is legal and black market marijuana is thriving,,,not so good for the movement.
Another issue is the banks. The banks are currently not working with the business selling marijuana legally and will not allow them to deposit there money they make from selling the drug. This means these businesses have to keep any cash they make on hand. Even though the banks are working to try and correct this issue and allow for the cash to be deposited, everyone has access to this information. This has real potential to cause issues for these new merchants. It is also incentive for black market sellers to go after there legal counterparts causing potential for some real violence.
The last problem these businesses are going to have to overcome is the nationwide black market that could swallow the state of Colorado. Once the state is able to open enough dispensaries to the point when prices rival that of the black market,the competition starts. If other states don't follow in Colorado's footsteps quickly, we are going to have the black market still thriving throughout the country and doing whatever they can to keep the threat of legal marijuana at bay. Since marijuana still carries a negative stigma and has for a very long time it would not be hard for cartels and drug lords to generate negative attention making other states reluctant to move forward with their marijuana experiment.
So while we have seen a major victory for legalization of drug that should have not been illegal in the first place, the path forward will be a tricky one. As a country, if we move slow towards the repeal of prohibition, there is a chance the trend could reverse. If we move swiftly, and quickly eliminate marijuana from the black market, the legalization of marijuana can be a successful victory for our country.