Sunday, November 6th marked the 10th anniversary of Colorado’s historic vote to legalize marijuana, creating a regulated adult cannabis market. Amendment 64 was approved on November 6, 2012 and became effective the following month. The citizen-driven constitutional amendment legalized the possession and home cultivation of marijuana in limited quantities for adults 21 and older. It also directed state legislatures to establish a regulatory framework and taxes for adult-use marijuana.
On Sunday, Governor Jared Polis, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (who served as governor in 2012), Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and other current and former state officials joined the Amendment 64 leaders at the History Colorado Center to commemorate the milestone recall. The event was hosted by Vicente Sederberg LLP and VS Strategies, whose executives played a key role in the creation, campaigning and implementation of Amendment 64. Vicente Sederberg LLP is led by Brian Vicente, who co-directed the Amendment 64 campaign with Mason Tvert, Partner at VS Strategies.
Hickenlooper and Hancock have previously been critics of legalization – both opposed Amendment 64 in 2012. During the event, they acknowledged that their concerns never materialized, and they expressed their support for legal cannabis in Colorado, highlighting the state’s responsible regulatory system and its role as a national and world leader in cannabis policy.
“My reasons for opposing it came from very personal stories of watching family members struggling with addiction,” said Mayor Michael Hancock. “Today, 10 years later, I stand here and proud to announce that Denver was the first city in the country, indeed the world, to adopt a responsible regulatory framework for recreational marijuana. And to do it right. … I am a convert today. I was wrong 10 years ago. You can do this right and you can do it responsibly.”
“Marijuana is no longer a taboo subject and there’s a much more open public dialogue going on, which is good,” Tvert added. “Officials review and refine laws and regulations to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Consumers know more about cannabis and its effects. Parents are having more direct and honest conversations about cannabis with their children. Colorado is proof that cannabis regulation works.”