You’ve just arrived to the Mile High City, and you want to get… well, high! The good news is that you now can.
On the other hand, it’s not so simple.
Cannabis is legal in Colorado for recreational purposes, but that doesn’t mean you can buy your buds at any corner store. It’s pretty heavily regulated, and there are quite a few restrictions.
We’ve put together this handy outline of marijuana laws in Colorado, and it’s great for residents and visitors alike.
Warning: Know the Laws!
Before getting too deep into it, we need to stress the point that it’s your responsibility to know what’s legal and what isn’t. You can only buy pot from certain places, you have to be a certain age to possess it, there are maximum amounts you can carry, and you have to be above a specific age. The police in Colorado are strict about it, and the cops in other states are even worse!
Also, the marijuana laws in Colorado change constantly, so keep up to date on what they are at any given time.
Age Limit for Colorado Cannabis
Yes, there is an age limit on who can purchase weed in Colorado, and it may seem a little familiar. It’s only allowed to sell it to adults over the age of 21. And just like when buying alcohol, you will be carded. Make sure you have a driver’s license, passport, or other form of government-issued ID. Also, it’s a felony to give or sell marijuana to anyone who is under 21.
Where You Can Buy It
If you meet a guy on the street trying to sell some pot, keep away. It’s only allowed to be sold in licensed retail stores.
Laws Vary by City
This whole legal weed situation came about after Amendment 64 was passed in 2012, and this change to Colorado’s constitution made marijuana legal for multiple purposes. But, it didn’t automatically make it legal everywhere. As mentioned above, it can only be sold in licensed stores. The catch is that each city gets to decide how many stores they will have, and who they will give the licenses to. So, some towns will have a much higher density of shops than others (and some don’t have any at all).
Amount You Can Possess
You may be planning on stocking up on as much cannabis as you can carry, but mellow out for a minute. The Colorado laws state that you’re only allowed to possess one ounce, but it gets a little more complicated. They’ve decided that one ounce of flowers doesn’t contain the same amount of cannabis as in other forms, so there are different amounts for different types. Basically, you can buy one ounce of buds, 800 mg of edibles, or 8 g of any type of concentrate.
Mandatory Store Hours
The laws also regulate what time the stores can be open to sell cannabis. State law says stores can be open any time between 8 am and midnight, but they leave it up to each city to regulate that, too. For example, the city of Denver doesn’t allow its stores to stay open past 7 pm. But, the Denver Metro area technically has many different cities, so some of these have different closing times.
You can’t drive when you’re high, and you shouldn’t want to. If you try, you can end up with a DUI attached to your name, and you may have to pay fines or go to jail because of it. The official legal limit you can have is five nanograms of active THC flowing through you. They have to do a blood test to determine it, and if you refuse, it’s often treated the same as failing.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve hit that limit or not, the safest bet is to get someone else to drive.
Crossing State Lines
Colorado legalized marijuana, but most other states didn’t. This means that it’s illegal to take it across state borders, and you can’t fly with it out of the airport. A lot of states are trying to catch people to prove a point, so it’s not a good idea to take the risk.
Where You Can Consume
Before you plan on having an awesome time at a concert or a park, here’s a little bit of a downer: you can’t just light up anywhere. It’s illegal to consume in public, and that isn’t just limited to smoking, but any kind of consumption. Indoor consumption is regulated just like tobacco, and it’s very rare to find any place lucky enough to have a license. They’re only given to private clubs that sell memberships.
Basically, make sure you’re somewhere private, or you’ll risk getting in trouble.
Difference Between Recreational and Medical
Medical and recreational marijuana are both legal in Colorado, but they have different laws attached to them. The biggest is that recreational is available to any adult over the age of 21, but medical can only be sold to Colorado residents with a valid medical card.
Enjoy the Rocky Mountain High!
The marijuana laws in Colorado may be a bit complicated, but don’t let that ruin your time. The most important part is that it is legal, so you’re free to get high and live your life!