In 1919 alcohol prohibition became the law of the land in the United States. This meant that no one could legally crack an ice cold beer or enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. Despite garnering enough support in Congress to ratify the Volstead Act and 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the law was deeply unpopular.
Colorado was very much ahead of the curve in this area and pulled the trigger on both alcohol and marijuana prohibition in 1917.
Across the country, including Colorado, Americans flagrantly ignored Prohibition and continued drinking as if nothing had happened. That casual attitude towards law-breaking kept lawmen, like the ones seen above on a liquor raid near Greeley, very, very busy.
By 1933, Americans were tired of playing, "Don't ask, don't tell," with regards to their favorite beverages, and the 18th Amendment was repealed.
Of course alcohol isn't, and wasn't, the only substance that Coloradans use recreationally for relaxation.
Though its history isn't as well recorded as alcohol's, marijuana has been in use in Colorado for an extended period, too.
As April 20, 4/20 in common parlance, rolls around, Denver residents are reminded of their unique relationship with the fragrant herb. Every year on that date thousands of people gather in Civic Center Park to advocate for (continued) marijuana reform.
While Colorado and the rest of the country brought back regulated alcohol in 1933, marijuana was left out in the cold. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Coloradans continued consuming marijuana long after 1917. Before then, Coloradans were free to consume marijuana and hashish at their leisure and many did just that at Lower Downtown hash dens.
Colorado's relationship with marijuana came to a head in 2012 when 55.32 percent of voting Coloradans signed on to make Colorado the first state in the Union to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Thus, the prohibition movement that started nearly 100 years prior, finally petered out.
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