The article starts off with an introduction to William Breathes, a connoisseur of weed the way other people are connoisseur’s of fine wines. Starting the article off in this way enables the writer to talk about how commonplace smoking weed is in Colorado, so much so that Breathes’ boss pays for his weed every day and Breathes is able to walk and drive around town completely high. Not only is marijuana legal in Colorado for medical use, it is also legal recreational use.

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This legalization has led to what is being called the green rush, an onslaught of new businesses targeting the marijuana users in every possible way, re-energizing parts of the city that had been falling into ruin. It’s expected that the industry will grow to five times its current size, significantly adding to the state’s revenue. Economists estimate legalizing marijuana in the country could open up a $100 billion industry nationwide and save another $13-$15 billion on incarceration and prohibition enforcement costs. In taking a closer look at a dispensary, though, the author makes it clear that the industry isn’t just drug culture gone wild. There is a strong professional element to it as well. This is emphasized by the look into what it takes to get a dispensary licensed, how city officials feel about having it be there, and the difficulties and science involved in growing it. Reading through the article reveals that the cannabis industry is much more complicated than just a couple of teenagers selling weed.

It is a real business making real money that can make a significant difference to the welfare of the state. While the plants can be pungent, the author mentions he can smell the warehouse from across the street, there appears to be a real need for it on the medical side and the revitalization it offers to the city is also a positive note. The only objections that the author mentions against the industry are from city leaders who don’t want their city or state to be known for pot and a vague reference to the difficulty of knowing when someone is too high to be driving.

  • Kleeman, Jenny. (May 2013). “Cannabis: Colorado’s Budding Industry.” The Guardian. Available September 29, 2015 from