Looking to spend your Spring Break with your good friend Mary Jane? Well, we don't mean to harsh your mellow, but there might be some pesky pot laws you need to keep in mind -- even in the two states where it's now legal (under state law, anyway).
Pot tourists, don't leave for your green Spring Break without reading these five legal tips:
1. No Smoking Pot in Public.
As news outlets like The Washington Post have noted, Colorado is now open to pot tourism. And whether you decide to make your marijuana jaunt by yourself or with a group like Colorado Highlife, remember that smoking pot in public is illegal.
You can smoke in some Colorado private establishments and private homes, but getting blazed on the street will start your Spring Break off wrong. The public pot-smoking prohibition also applies to cannabis connoiseurs in Washington state.
2. There's No Legal Place to Buy Recreational Pot in Washington State -- Yet.
Some Seattle business owners are preparing for a predicted wave of marijuana tourists, but they'll have to wait for next year's Spring Break. Other than medical marijuana dispensaries -- some of which have had trouble remaining open -- there aren't any legal places to buy pot in Washington state right now.
Unlike Colorado, no legal recreational marijuana retailers are actually open for business in Washington. The Washington State Liquor Control Board granted its first license to a marijuana producer in Spokane last week, but it may be summertime before a retail store opens, reports Spokane's KHQ-TV.
3. Amsterdam Enforces Pot Laws Too, Particularly for Tourists.
Not only is Holland not a lawless state, but Dutch authorities have gotten wise to pot tourists. Under laws that took effect in 2013, some cannabis cafes in the Netherlands won't sell pot to foreigners. CNN reports that they'll still dole out some bud to Americans in Amsterdam, but like Colorado, you can't smoke marijuana in public.
4. It's Still Totally Illegal Under Federal Law.
No matter what U.S. state you're in, pot is still illegal under federal law. The U.S. Attorney General has informed federal law enforcement to focus on particularly serious pot crimes, but simple possession can still lead to federal charges.
5. Don't Fly With Pot.
Strange as it may seem, screeners at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have reportedly been allowing passengers to pass through security with less than an ounce of weed, according to The Associated Press. Still, there are legal risks for those flying with pot. Carrying marijuana onto a plane is still illegal under federal regulations, and even Denver International Airport has a pot ban, reports the AP.
No matter where you're headed for Spring Break, don't let marijuana land you in legal trouble. Remember the laws, and above all, stay safe.
- Can I take my pot on a plane? (CNN)
- Colo., Wash. Pot Regulations Compared (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Top 10 Legal Tips for Spring Breakers (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Bright Idea?: Thieves Pilfering Porsche Headlights to Grow Pot (FindLaw's Legally Weird)