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Colorado's marijuana foes and supporters worked for smooth launch

By: Christopher N. Osher, The Denver Post
January 3, 2014 Updated: January 3, 2014 at 9:40 am
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photo - In this Dec. 5, 2013, photo marijuana matures in ideal conditions at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. As Colorado prepares to be the first in the nation to allow recreational pot sales, opening Jan. 1, hopeful retailers are investing their fortunes into the legal recreational pot world, all for a chance to build even bigger ones in a fledgling industry that faces an uncertain future. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
In this Dec. 5, 2013, photo marijuana matures in ideal conditions at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. As Colorado prepares to be the first in the nation to allow recreational pot sales, opening Jan. 1, hopeful retailers are investing their fortunes into the legal recreational pot world, all for a chance to build even bigger ones in a fledgling industry that faces an uncertain future. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) 

DENVER - Some public officials predicted unruly customers would fight over scarce supplies when recreational marijuana went live in Colorado. Others feared images of public toking would be beamed around the world.

Instead, a peaceful, respectful and mellow crowd greeted the advent of recreational marijuana sales on New Year's Day.

Marijuana industry representatives and public officials credited the smooth launch to months of planning and cooperation. Former foes agreed along the way to work together to settle such nettlesome issues as whether armed security would be permitted.

"We all realized at some point that our priorities are pretty much the same," said Mike Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, which considers itself the chamber of commerce for recreational marijuana. "We all want to keep businesses safe and secure and keep the customers safe."

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