You've never really thought about these things before, have you?

Typically, when we report about weed we're either word vomiting at you about how much money it's made or waxing poetic about how it's being regulated. It's what the people want.

But our paralyzing thirst for knowledge and street cred made us want to know more, so we called up famed marijuana editor Ricardo Baca of The Cannabist and spoke with him about the state of legal weed 'round these parts. He gave us some sage insights on a few facets of the marijuana thing we've never reported on before, and god damn it, we're going to share them with you.

Despite its success, legal weed is still pretty taboo in Colorado …

In 2012, when Colorado voted on Amendment 64, only 55 percent of voters wanted legal marijuana. In 2015, that number slowly crawled to 58 percent, but that still leaves more than 40 percent of Coloradans either undecided or against recreational pot. That's literally millions of people who think legalization is a bad idea, even though it's gone remarkably well so far.

If you surround yourself with the same sort of like-minded people that we do, that number seems extraordinarily high. It's hard to imagine how anyone could oppose something so safe and societally beneficial. However, let's for a minute try to sympathize with Coloradans who may still be against the legal stuff.

"I can totally understand being against legal marijuana," Baca told us. "As a society, we've been lied to for decades about the dangers of marijuana. We didn't know we were being lied to at the time. And the lies even came from people we loved. I was a third grader with a teacher who I adored in a public school in Westminster, Colorado. He just straight out lied to us about what this drug was going to do to our brains. Granted, that was the information he had at the time, and if you're a third grader, the developing brain argument is legitimate. But still, nobody listens to it. You shouldn't smoke weed while you're brain is developing. That's a legitimate argument."

Baca makes a good point about the decades of misinformation Americans were affronted with in regards to pot. President Reagan opined the dangers of marijuana and started the War on Drugs. His wife, the First Lady, was responsible for D.A.R.E and the "Just Say No" campaign. Even cuddly sex guy Bill Clinton contributed to advancing fear around weed; he imprisoned more non-violent drug offenders than any other president in American history, many of them over marijuana.

That, and while weed is significantly safer than alcohol, it still causes adverse reactions or addiction in approximately 9 percent of people who use it. That's less than opioids, nicotine, alcohol, heroin or cocaine, but the the way it affects some users does help it maintain a certain taboo.

So, given that most voting Coloradans grew up in an age of reefer madness and that weed isn't a perfect, side-effect free substance, its easy to see why it's still taboo for a huge portion of people despite the fact that our little weed experiment is going just dandily.

… but the taboo is actually really helpful elsewhere.

In markets like Colorado that have already gone full-legalization, the loss of taboo is extremely beneficial because it helps the industry grow, nourishes our economy and helps people access a much safer recreational substance than alcohol, nicotine, or other narcotics.

However, as Baca points out, the continued presence of marijuana's taboo in non-legal states is actually useful because it helps with fundraising.

"People recognize that you can still go to jail for the ridiculous offense of being found with a gram, so they're more likely to donate to their local NORML chapter, or local activists who are working on either medical or recreational legalization initiatives," he told us. "The marijuana industry is very smart about making taboo work for them. As they have been for decades."

The amount of money Colorado made last year actually wasn't that much …

… But it's still making significant changes.

Last year, Colorado raked in $996 million in marijuana sales. At face value, that looks like a ton of loot, but considering only $135 million of that was tax revenue and that Colorado has an operating budget of $26 billion each year, that massive cash pile is nothing more than a drop in the bucket.

However, even the relatively small amount of $135 million is making significant impact and change at the local level.

"You look at communities like Pueblo, Colorado, Breckenridge, these are communities that have gotten a much needed face lift from marijuana money and it's substantial," said Baca, who added that these municipal improvements will be tempting to other communities who see how much positive change weed tax can bring about.

For a comprehensive list of the ways all that legal weed tax flow is being spent in Colorado and what our state's weed facelift actually looks like, go here.

Countries all around the world are sending representatives to Colorado to learn how our system works.

When we asked Baca what he thought it would take for other states to adopt Colorado's frame of mind towards weed, he explained that educating them on Colorado's successful legalization system is the best way to change people's attitudes towards pot. That's actually happening as we speak. Already, representatives from other states and countries are traveling here to learn about the Colorado model; in fact, on the day we spoke with Baca, a representative of the French federal government was coming by just to chat with him for 20 minutes about how Colorado's system works.

"I think that's primarily what it's going to take," he said. "We have so many diplomats and so many legislators and so many city council members and parliament members flooding into Colorado, taking the tours, seeing it with their own eyes. That's helping them make better decisions. Most of them leave Colorado thinking that this is the way to do it and that they support it."

One representative from Amsterdam he spoke with was particularly intrigued by Colorado because of the way we're starting to handle pesticides and other chemicals in marijuana agriculture, as well as push for organic weed.

"I thought that was fascinating because the Dutch government has no idea whatsoever what's being used on their plants, but the crop is still being sold in coffee shops because it's not regulated anywhere near to the degree it is here," he said. "She'd also take a couple tours of a shop, a consumption-friendly shuttle and a cultivation. Her mind was blown. She was just so impressed with how professional everything was here and how clean it operated. She said it was just impressive to see these city and state agencies working so closely together with each other and asking for federal guidance. She was just like, 'I am absolutely going back and telling my boss that I think this is a very smart way of doing things.'"

Amsterdam, people! Amsterdam, the globe's resident pot motherland, is coming to us because we're considering things on legal weed that they never have before. That's pretty cool.

Baca also spoke with a Dutch woman who told him the pro-legalization contingent of their parliament had actually expanded during their time in Colorado; just being here amongst the culture was enough to change their minds about legal weed.

In America, we point towards European models of things like healthcare, education and transportation as shining examples of what could be, but it's so rare that that goes the opposite way. It's not only flattering that Europeans (who typically exhibit a higher degree of government evolution than we do) are using Colorado as a model of success, but it's also a clear and important message that we're doing something right with this whole legal weed thing.

However, Baca also pointed out that some diplomats who come to scope our weed system are worried about it's unintended consequences, like that it could become too commercialized or that it could get dirty and potentially dangerous with all the money being made.

"Truth be told, we're not going to be quite sure what goes down with those unintended consequences for another 8 or 10 years," said Baca.

Hopefully, he's talking about the kind of unintended consequences we foresee. You know, like being so rich we skydive out of personal helicopters to get to work and stuff. Casual.

Photo cred: Elio Colavolpe/Ropi/ZUMA Press/Newscom