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Canna live without it? 

Street Smarts

Between Colorado Springs getting geared to can cannabis clubs by 2024 and Pueblo looking at a ballot initiative to close retail pot shops, people are reflecting on the past few years in weed and this year's 4/20 pot celebration.

click to enlarge Anthony Reyes
  • Anthony Reyes

Anthony Reyes of South Powers is a barber

It's been a little over two years since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado; how do you think it's going? It's a step forward. I think the taxes need to be clearer, so people know where the money is going ... how it's helping the economy.

Describe the marijuana culture in Colorado Springs. It's laid back. It keeps the gang violence down, and people are able to just enjoy it socially more.

Has the overall perception of recreational marijuana changed since it became legal? It's not as taboo as it used to be, which is definitely a good thing.

Do you think more places will legalize marijuana, or is the trend slowing down? I think it's going to expand. All the way to Texas even. I used to live in Austin. Willie Nelson got a statue and people were lighting up on the state Capitol.

Have you ever celebrated 4/20? How? Yeah, I did the Boulder thing, went camping. One time I went up to Woodland Park and we made a Christmas tree out of mushrooms. It was awesome.

click to enlarge Maile Gray
  • Maile Gray

Maile Gray and Barb Bailey of Manitou Springs/Ute Pass are traffic safety program directors

It's been a little over two years since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado; how do you think it's going? Gray: I think it's going fine for those who like it.

Bailey: Because I live up the pass, I drive by both recreational stores in Manitou, and let me tell you they are busy. Over spring break, those parking lots were full, and I saw a lot of out-of-state license plates.

Describe the marijuana culture in Colorado Springs. Gray: I

click to enlarge Barb Bailey
  • Barb Bailey
do think there are still youth involved in marijuana, which is a crime. I think alcohol in certain ways, as far as making people more violent and angry, is worse than marijuana, but it's hard to compare. They aren't apples and apples.

Bailey: A lot of youth who get caught with it think it's legal across the board. Maybe they don't know the laws. When it's legal, they think it's safe.

Has the overall perception of recreational marijuana changed since it became legal? Gray: I think there are people coming to the state because of recreational marijuana, for good and bad, both tourists and transient youth.

Bailey: The influx of people to Manitou definitely coincided with legalization. It does seem like people are more accepting of it.

Do you think more places will legalize marijuana, or is the trend slowing down? Bailey: I think it's inevitable. It's just a matter of time.

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