Cannabis for recreational use in Colorado and Washington was legalized for personal use starting on January 1st. However, this still raises a lot of questions from people in other countries and states that are curious on what this legalization actually means for residents and tourists. For those with questions, here are a few guidelines on what you can and cannot do with marijuana in Colorado.
The new Colorado law allows the sale of over-the-counter recreational use cannabis to anyone 21 years of age or older. Colorado residents will be allowed to buy up to an ounce at a time, while tourists will be allowed to purchase a quarter ounce. Those weights are also the legal possession limits. Consumers are allowed to make multiple purchases in one day as long as possession amount is not greater than the maximum amount they are legally allowed to purchase.
This means that marijuana users and residents of Colorado can buy an ounce in the morning, marathon-smoke it all day, and then buy another ounce that evening. While some might exercise their new found freedom, this will likely not become the new Colorado norm.
More guidelines for the new cannabis laws in Colorado include being able to buy marijuana in multiple forms. The retail shops will sell pre-rolled joints as well as bare bud baggies. Users can also purchase and legally possess all and any manners of cannabis-related drug paraphernalia.
A tourist will be allowed to smoke marijuana in designated cannabis zones. Up to 25 percent of Colorado hotel rooms are allowed to be designated in such a zone.
Serious connoisseurs and cannabis tourists say that marijuana is still more easily obtained in Amsterdam than it is currently in Colorado. Amsterdam possession laws are still sometimes enforced as the drug is still considered illegal there, but its use is more wildly tolerated there than anywhere else.
The new Colorado laws do not allow anyone to smoke cannabis anywhere they want. The law specifically states that it is not to be smoked “openly and publicly.” Colorado authorities encourage people to smoke it at home and not on the street or in your car. There likely won’t be any lighting up in any restaurants either.
If a tourist wanted to buy some cannabis with their credit card, it won’t be allowed. The Colorado law prohibits credit card use for purchasing any drugs. Consumers that are used to paying their marijuana dealers with cash will likely feel right at home.
Cannabis tourists won’t be allowed to leave the state of Colorado with any marijuana. Tourists also cannot mail or send packages of cannabis home either.
A University of Colorado study found that the average price was $185 per ounce, but some shops had their highest quality premium bud available for up to $560 for the same quantity. Prices vary mostly on the strain of cannabis.
Most retail cannabis shops are open from 8 o’clock in the morning until midnight. Forget about buying any marijuana between the hours of midnight to 8am, as these hours are prohibited for sale.
There is no guarantee how long these cannabis guidelines from Colorado are good for. Technically marijuana possession is still illegal according to U.S. federal law. However, the Feds are letting the Colorado law progress with a “green” light but still watching closely to see if things will work out in the end.
By Brent Matsalla