When the plane touched down in Denver on 4/20/2016 the pilot announced “Happy 420 Everybody” and the passengers cheered. Everyone on board was in a festive mood because they knew we had just landed in a Free State. After a five-day visit there my impression is that Colorado got it Right! Denver was one of the cleanest cities I have ever visited, lots of fresh air, people were responsible, and no sirens were heard all week. The town was beautiful and absolutely normal. I kept looking around trying to figure out what was different about this place, families took their children to restaurants, kids played in the park, cars drove on the same side of the street as we did back home. So far as I could tell the only difference is they stopped arresting people for using cannabis, a substance safer than alcohol.
Maryland was once known as the Free State for opposing prohibition of alcohol, but today the continued prohibition of drugs has led to too many citizens being jailed rather than being free. Did you know that on that single day known as 420 there was 37.5 million dollars spent on legal cannabis across the country? I can’t help but wonder how much money was collected by the black market in the state of Maryland on that day. All that money went to support the drug cartels rather than support our communities. My personal goal is to help end prohibition of all drugs. One day my home state of Maryland will stop jailing people for the use of cannabis, tax the legal sale of it and use the money for public good. Then perhaps we can call ourselves the Free State again.