Whether you are visiting Colorado looking to enjoy Canna-tourism, or you are a regular smoker here in the state, it is always great to have a nice reminder of what is and is not allowed here in the state of Colorado. In this issue, we have reviewed the state laws and talked with a few people in the legal world about what your rights are in the arena of cannabis. Here are a few different things to always be aware of when smoking in Colorado.
Possession vs. Purchasing Limits
Everyone in Colorado, whether you are a resident or a visitor can have an ounce of weed in their possession. What? Because stores will only sell non-residents 1/4 an oz, right? Here is the thing, purchasing and possession are different ideas. For out of town visitors, you can only buy 1/4 an oz in a single transaction, generally meaning on one day at one store. You can buy more the next day. This rule was made as a means of being sure no one is transporting cannabis across state lines.
But it is important to recognize that everyone, under state law, can possess an ounce. You just might need to buy it in different ways.
If you want to grow cannabis, do it! It would be awesome for you to experience and enjoy the fruits of your labor. When you are growing, be aware of the laws. You need to be growing your cannabis in an enclosed, locked space. Your backyard is fine as long as it’s protected and covered. Make sure the neighborhood kids can’t get into it. Each adult in your household can even grow up to six plants, three of which can be in the flowering stage. The more adults in the household, well naturally that means the more cannabis you can grow.
Want to smoke in public but not sure how? Well, there are ways to get around this. Again looking at state laws you see the following: Amendment 64 does not permit “open and public” consumption, meaning smoking at a public park or during a music event is not what you want to do. There are some ways you can avoid this, however. Instead of smoking in public, around other people, you can find some low key places to consume. Be aware that smoking anywhere besides private property you can get a citation, in fact, citation rates have gone up exponentially.
Here is the thing we always want you to be aware of, smoke as discretely as possible. Use your best judgment. Also, know you cannot ever smoke in public places like bars or venues.
The important thing to note is that cannabis is still not legal on federal land. Be careful if you are visiting a national park, smoking and carrying cannabis is not allowed. Always remember that whenever you might be doing such things as planning a backpacking trip or visiting a park, you should avoid bringing cannabis with you. Unlike the tickets, you would receive in the rest of Colorado, taking cannabis on federal land can end up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. The punishments escalate from there.
Driving Under the Influence
Simply put, don’t drive under the influence. If cops pull you over, and there are noticeable influences of marijuana or cannabis, it will lend itself to you potentially going through drug testing. It is important to recognize that refusing a blood test means you can lose your license. If a cop suspects you to be high, meaning bloodshot eyes, the normal telltale signs of marijuana use or more obvious smells and odors, they do have the right to take you to a place where they can blood test you. And here is the thing, the amount of active THC that has to be in your blood before you are slapped with a DUI is only 5 ng/ml.
Driving with Marijuana
Currently, state law prohibits you from driving around with an open container of marijuana in your car. Doing so can result in a minor traffic fine if you are not under the influence. The bad news is this traffic fine is still a drug-related offense, something that can show up on background checks for employees, rental companies and impact your parole status. So, the good idea is to be careful where you are storing your marijuana.
A problem many people have is understanding what constitutes an actual open marijuana container and how do police apply this law. Well, since most containers are resealable, this presents a problem for many cannabis consumers. The state is likely looking for a few things when they pull you over.
The first is odor and smell of marijuana or visible signs of use in the car. If you have those, you are likely screwed. The other thing is if you have cannabis just publicly available. Cannabis should be kept out of the passenger area. You want cannabis where nobody can reach it. Not your back seat cup holders, not underneath your seat and especially not your glove box. Imagine a cop pulls you over and see you reaching for your driver’s license only to see a nice container. They can then pursue you.
There needs to be probable cause before a search. Police cannot just search your car on a whim, but they can find a reason. If it reeks of pot, or you have visible paraphernalia, this is a different thing. Keep your cannabis out of sight and don’t use while driving. The best place to store it, in your trunk. Seriously. Or, don’t open the paper bags it comes in when stores give you stapled bags. They do this for a reason. Take them and leave them sealed until you get home. Just never carry around a resealable container in your glove box, for your sake, better safe than sorry.
Mailing your Marijuana
Again, this is a thing that you cannot do. There is no way you can legally ship cannabis to another state and doing so can get you in significant trouble. You might think you are smart, you might think you have a foolproof method, you might think you have the perfect way to get cannabis across state lines. Except there is no way that this is going to work. Over the last few years, the federal postal office has seized an insane amount of cannabis. If you think you are great at hiding marijuana in your packages, you aren’t as good as they are at finding it. For anyone who tells you they have shipped cannabis, they are more than likely lying. Just don’t do it. Have your friends visit, we always love more people coming here, so invite them in.
When navigating the law, the first piece it comes down to is knowing our rights. It can seem confusing and often people feel like everything can get them in trouble. The keyword across all of this is discretion. If you have marijuana on you in public, are high in public, are looking to grow, or want to be social with your weed, discretion is key. Respect the people around you and never endanger others because of the chance to toke. If you follow these simple ideas, everything will be alright and we can keep enjoying the high afforded to us by our state.