“Regulate marijuana like alcohol” has been a very popular (and effective) campaign slogan in Colorado and really, across the country. Colorado Amendment 64 Campaign Director Mason Tvert has said those the slogan, along with reminding folks that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol, was the strongest weapons the Amendment 64 campaign had during the 2012 Election, and understandably so.
At the Denver County Fair, cannabis appears to be more popular than alcohol. Per the Daily Caller:
The Denver County Fair is canceling its planned beer pavilion in it’s 21-and-older section and doubling the size of its pot pavilion. This marks the first time in which newly legal marijuana will take center stage over Colorado’s famed craft beer industry.
The pot pavilion — where no actual pot will be allowed, either as plants or in its ready-to-use recreational form — will feature a variety of marijuana competitions, including speed joint-rolling contests, ribbons for best plants, and honors given for best homemade bong and best pot-brownie recipe.
Even though actual cannabis won’t be allowed at the pavilion, it’s still significant to see an interest in cannabis surpass alcohol at a fair event. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen at other county fairs in Colorado, and eventually Washington and other states that inevitably legalize cannabis. Beer gardens and concessions can certainly lead to rowdy, and event violent, behavior by fair goers, which can be frustrating for security staff and event organizers. However, proper precautions can likely be implemented to ensure that adults can responsibly partake in cannabis and/or alcohol. Education, proper regulation and commons sense of attendees are all that are required.
Cannabis consuming fair goers, are probably more relaxed and are more likely to buyout the elephant ear stand than they are to pick a fight. The huge turnout at the Seattle Hempfest and other cannabis-centric events across the country certainly illustrate that cannabis users can come together and not turn too rowdy or violent. Cannabis is not more dangerous than alcohol and should be regulated like beer and wine, truthful slogans that can’t be repeated enough. It’s true now, it always has been true, and always will be true. It’s time other states followed Colorado’s lead and started taking a new approach, stop treating marijuana use as a crime and regulate it like beer and wine.