Colorado pot lovers are waiting with bated, somewhat haggard breath for Colorado to open its recreational marijuana shops on January 1, 2014. But there are a few rules that pot enthusiasts will want to keep in mind.
While rules can certainly be a buzzkill, these five rules will keep you on the right side of the law when purchasing pot in Colorado:
1. You Must Be 21 to Purchase 'Recreational' Marijuana.
Few pot stores will actually be open by the first of the year, reports CNN, and the majority of those open will be in Denver. Just like with alcohol, to purchase weed in at these stores you must present a driver's license or other form of government ID that verifies you are 21 years of age or older.
Underage kids (or even underage adults) purchasing pot with a fake ID will face similar consequences to buying booze; however, Denver's City Council has taken steps to make pot possession for those 18 to 21 similar to a traffic ticket, reports NBC News.
2. Colo. Residents Can Buy 1 Oz.; Out-of-Staters, Not So Much.
Colorado ID holders can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana at any licensed store, while out-of-staters will have to be content with a quarter ounce. Nothing in the law prohibits pot sharing between legal in- and out-of-towners, as long as no one is unlawfully mailing anything.
3. You Still Can't Smoke In Public.
As Colorado residents tear into their first legal baggies of recreational MJ, the temptation will be to get blazed right on the steps outside the pot store.
BZZZZ! Wrong! Public weed smoking remains illegal in Colorado.
Also, because Colorado has passed anti-indoor smoking laws, you won't be toking your legal weed in most places indoors either -- except maybe at your house.
4. Driving While High Remains Illegal.
Although Colorado's DUI attorneys are certainly brainstorming how to handle the new influx of "driving while stoned" cases, the bottom line is that smoking legal weed while driving will get you arrested.
Even if you don't have any pot on you, officers have been trained to ticket someone for DUI if his or her blood contains 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC (that stuff in pot that makes you high).
5. Marijuana Is Still Illegal Under Federal Law.
Since the federal government has only given a slight nod to letting state-"legalized" pot slide, get anywhere near a federal jurisdiction and you can potentially be arrested for your "legal" pot. This includes the Denver airport, USA Today reports.
So keep in line with these rules, gentle stoners, and enjoy the bounty of Colorado's new pot laws!
- Legal Pot Sales Begin Amid Uncertainty In Colorado (The Associated Press)
- Colo., Wash. Pot Regulations Compared (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Police Pot Holders Ordered to Return Marijuana Seized 1 Year Ago (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Seattle Cops Handing Out Munchies at 'Hempfest' (FindLaw's Legally Weird)