Colorado is the home of the famous Colorado River, the Denver Broncos
and the Denver Nuggets. The state is named after the red silt that is
carried through the Colorado River, originating in the red rock
mountains. The state is divided into 64 counties, with the most
populous being El Paso, Denver and Arapahoe.
Colorado is the birthplace of actor Tim Allen, boxer Jack Dempsey,
football player John Elway, musician Glenn Miller, and politician John
Long before any of these individuals had a claim to fame, Colorado was
inhabited by Native American tribes including Ute, Arapahoe, Anasazi
and Cheyenne. These people have called Colorado home for more than
13,000 years. Mesa Verde National Park, located in Montezuma County, is
the home of some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the world.
With all its natural beauty and history, Colorado still has its fair
share of trouble with crime and violence. The infamous Columbine
shootings of April 1999 left a sad mark on Colorado and the entire U.S.
The incident has resulted in calls for more gun control measures. In
2000, federal and state laws were introduced that would require safety
locks on firearms as well as banning the importation of high-capacity
Though laws were passed that made it a crime to buy guns for criminals
and minors, there is significant controversy over legislation
pertaining to background checks at gun shows. In 2001, retailer K-Mart,
which had sold bullets to the shooters, announced it would no longer
sell handgun ammunition.
Colorado has decriminalized marijuana to a certain degree. This means
that a first time possession of a small amount will generally be
treated like a minor traffic violation, with no prison time or criminal
record required. The state has medical marijuana laws enacted, for the
treatment of certain conditions. Medical use is permitted with no more
than 2 oz (or 6 plants), physician recommendation and state
People like to relax and have a good time, and Coloradans are no
exception. If you are going to drink alcohol in Colorado, it is
important that you familiarize yourself with the laws that govern this
behavior. Colorado laws regarding alcohol are put in place to ensure
that alcohol consumption does not create a safety issue for people
around you and more specifically, that you do not drive a vehicle while
under the influence.
Under Colorado DUI laws, a first offense can land you in jail for 5
days to 1 year, a fine of $600-$1000 and a license suspension of up to
9 months. Sentencing gets even harsher for subsequent offenses. Your
best bet at staying out of trouble is to stay out of the drivers' seat
if you have been drinking.
One of the ways that Colorado deals with crime is to lock up those who
violate the laws in jails and prisons. Colorado currently has an
incarceration rate of 450 per 100,000 residents. This number is
slightly below the national rate of 502.