Marijuana, Gay Marriage Lead Top Colorado News Stories Of First Half Of 2014

July 8, 2014 4:20 PM

Marijuana, Gay Marriage Lead Top Colorado News Stories Of First Half Of 2014
" Social issues and the weather found center stage in the first half of 2014 in Colorado, with legal pot and not-so-legal gay marriage claiming the headlines. Meanwhile, a snowy and rainy winter and spring caused the state’s snowpack to soar, resulting in a respite from the drought and more than a dozen deaths on rivers statewide.

Here are the top six Colorado stories from 2014 so far:

1. Marijuana’s Legalization Ushers In Celebration, Tragedy, Legal Snares

Some Coloradans rang in the new year not with champagne but with legally purchased recreational marijuana, when two dozen stores opened in eight cities across the state on Jan. 1. Colorado made history by becoming the first state to legalize recreational pot sales.

In April, businesses sold roughly $22 million worth of pot, an increase of 58 percent from January. Patrons pay a hefty tax on their purchases: An additional 15 percent wholesale excise tax is applied atop a sales tax of 12.9 percent.

Legalization brought challenges and tragedy: In the spring, police blamed at least two deaths on pot edibles "

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