Rocky Mountain high usually refers to altitude. Not anymore. Denver voters passed I-100, which legalized the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana. While other cities such as Seattle and Oakland, Calif. have set up laws making adult pot use a low police priority, Denver has become the first city to legalize adult pot possession of one ounce or less.
This is progress. The city of Denver and its voters should be commended. Finally a law that represents the sentiments and actions of the people has been put into effect. For some time now, the legalization of marijuana has been in question. Groups like Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) and proponents of I-100 argue that pot is the safer alternative to alcohol.
But before you decide to light up within city limits, think twice. Pot is still illegal in the city of Denver because state laws apply.
Passing this law now gives credibility to the legalization argument. It opens the door to more laws and enlightenment. Other cities have taken notice. Next year Nevada will place an initiative on their ballot to tax and regulate pot like alcohol.
Opponents of the law will argue that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to further abuse of more serious narcotics. It is hard to argue, however, that alcohol is any less of a "gateway" toward the abuse of other substances. Alcohol alone can be considered a more dangerous drug than marijuana when the factors of drunk driving, violence and health are considered.
The passage of I-100 is by no means the end of this argument, but for the voters of the Denver area, it is a start in the right direction.