The first bill to legalize cannabis was introduced in 1973, by Republican legislator Michael Strang. It proposed legalizing cannabis possession for anyone over the age of 18. The bill proposed a 6-dollar tax on every ounce of cannabis sold, for which the current price was about 15 dollars. It would have licensed growers, wholesalers, and retailers. The bill never passed out of committee, although just 2 years later the Colorado State Legislature decriminalized private use and possession of cannabis, reducing penalties to a maximum fine of 100 dollars.
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In November of 2012, Colorado became the first state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis use. After more than 70 years of draconian prohibition laws, the passing of the measure came as a shock to both supporters and opponents. States had voted on similar measures before, and a number of states already had successful medical cannabis programs, but still, Colorado’s Amendment 64 signified the start of a new era in the fight to end prohibition. And, despite the fact that the fight continues today, Colorado’s experiment has been widely considered successful - with Oregon and Washington putting similar legalization measures into effect since then. In fact, California will be voting on its own recreational legalization, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or AUMA, in less than a month.