Over one thousand drug policy reform activists descend on Denver, Colorado this week to partake of the biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference—perhaps the most potent pot conference on the planet. Opening ceremonies kicked off last night, and conference panels get under way today through Saturday.
Conference organizers chose Denver primarily for its new legal pot law. Drug Policy Alliance spokesman Tony Newman called the state a bellwether for cannabis reform throughout the nation in a HuffPost piece.
Today at 1 p.m. revelers will take to the streets of Denver in a legal pot victory walk—stoners prefer to amble, not march—to celebrate the law change in Colorado, Washington State, and Uruguay, which is poised to legalize cannabis any day now.
Officials from the tiny South American country were on hand, along with colleagues from Canada (where medical pot is now big business) and Mexico (whose largest city plans to legalize pot). The dignataries toured several legal cannabis businesses in the area, the Associated Press reports.
Calling pot legalization an opportunity to curtail drug war violence in Mexico, legislator Fernando Belaunzaran told the AP, "We've had 100 years of prohibitionist policies, and no one has paid a higher price."
"Here you have a very regulated market, marijuana that is produced in a controlled fashion," Uruguay's top drug official Julio Calzada told the news service. "That is where we are going."