Quick to respond to Colorado becoming the first state to implement legal marijuana sales, CNBC dispatched veteran newsman Harry Smith to the Centennial State for an hour-long look at the new booming pot economy.
Marijuana in America: Colorado Pot Rush takes the expected tour of retail shops, grow-ops and food factories. But Smith, who says he hasn't "touched marijuana in decades," digs deeper.
A segment (see clip below) comparing neighboring cities, Greeley and Garden City, is particularly informative. While Greeley remains mired in the past, Garden City is embracing the new law that legalized marijuana in the state in 2012, hoping it will revitalize the Northern Colorado town of less than 500 residents.
Even more interesting is a debate Smith ignites between Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, and Mason Tvert, the amendment's chief architect.
Hickenlooper: "You don't want your state to go it alone and do something that's never been done before and immediately become the butt of late-night comedians on TV."
Tvert: "We're going to see other states continuing to adopt these laws. When the federal government decides to follow is the big question. But the writing's on the wall."
For his part, Smith opines, "One edible, one joint, one vapor puff at a time, pot is moving toward the mainstream." And: "To the dismay of some and to the delight of others, pot has crossed the threshold of acceptability."
Watch Marijuana in America on on CNBC.