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Scott Lentz

Approved by Colorado voters in November 2012, legal marijuana is now becoming mainstream in Colorado – but not without its fair share of controversy. New laws and regulations surrounding medical and recreational pot, a recent rise in legalization opponents thanks to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s fear-mongering actions, and consolidation in Denver’s dispensary scene have all generated plenty of buzz.

For a rundown of what cannabis issues people have been talking about most this year, check out our ten most-read pot stories of 2017:

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While touting data in a federal report showing that marijuana use among Colorado teens is falling, attorney Brian Vicente, who co-authored Amendment 64, the measure that legalized limited recreational cannabis sales in the state, predicted that weed haters would try to twist the numbers to their advantage, and he was right. Days later, Colorado’s most prominent anti-pot organization is acknowledging the stats regarding teen use but raising alarm about the level of consumption among young adults.

jeff sessionsU.S. Senate

A new federal study shows that marijuana use among teens in Colorado has fallen below levels seen prior to the implementation of Amendment 64, the measure that legalized limited recreational cannabis sales in the state. Given the report’s origins, attorney and activist Brian Vicente, who co-authored Amendment 64, says haters of progressive marijuana laws, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will find it more difficult than ever to suggest that these statistics are flawed.

Jacqueline Collins

The City of Denver has received its first official application for a cannabis consumption area inside a business. The Coffee Joint, a planned coffee shop and pot lounge at 1130 Yuma Court, just off Interstate 25 and West Eleventh Avenue, submitted its application on Friday, December 8, according to Daniel Rowland, director of public affairs for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.

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In an effort to learn how cannabis use affects driving, Colorado’s two major universities are studying the change in a driver’s balance, movement ability and reaction time after consuming pot  – but to better mirror consumption trends, the study uses subjects who just smoked something much more potent than the schwag our parents grew up with.

jeff sessionsYouTube

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to make remarks that alarm state-legalized pot industries and consumers across the country. During a press conference on Wednesday, November 29, announcing new grants and Drug Enforcement Administration projects to combat the national opioid crisis, Sessions told reporters that the Department of Justice is looking at ways to increase federal enforcement against cannabis use, something he called “detrimental” to the country.

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified in front of a House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, November 14, for more than four hours, answering questions about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, Planned Parenthood and his department’s investigation of black extremist groups. Sessions’s comments in response to those queries all created headlines, but there was one more hot-button issue he couldn’t avoid: pot.

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As the clock hit 6 p.m. on Monday, November 6, at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver, some of Colorado’s most prominent advocates of recreational cannabis legalization celebrated the fifth anniversary of Amendment 64’s passage. Members of the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the country’s biggest proponents for legalizing cannabis, enjoyed the night as they spoke about their past victories and the challenges to come both in Colorado and elsewhere.

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