The Out of State Visitors Guide To Marijuana In Colorado


Marijuana Laws In Colorado

Colorado made national history when on December 10, 2012, state Amendment 64 was enacted, which legalized the possession and retail sales of marijuana in the State of Colorado.  This amendment effectively made the state of Colorado the only place in America where someone 21 or over can legally purchase, possess and consume recreational marijuana.

In addition to it’s natural scenic beauty, the passage of Amendment 64 instantly created what is now referred to as “Marijuana Tourism” both for out-of-state U.S. residents, and visitors from all over the world.

Can Anyone Buy Weed In Colorado?

Coloradan’s and out-of-state visitors raced to take advantage of the fact that Colorado is just 1 of 2 places on the planet where the possession and consumption of recreational marijuana by persons over the age of 21 is legal.  This level of interest has generated a high level of interest from persons interested in the do’s and dont’s regarding legalities of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, which I will attempt to address here.

What About Federal Law Concerning Weed?

The federal government under the administration in place at the time Amendment 64 was passed has made it clear that they would not enforce federal law as long as Colorado state laws were being actively adhered to and enforced.   However, under federal law possession and use of marijuana is illegal.

What Are The Ways To Legally Purchase Weed?

Initially, all pot shops were strictly cash sales only as banks were hesitant to allow credit card use for fear of money laundering issues.  That has changed now and most pot shops in Colorado offer the option to legally purchase weed using a credit or debit card.

So Where Can I Smoke Weed in Colorado?

Public consumption of marijuana remains illegal in Colorado.  The  safest legal option for both residents and out-of-town visitors is to consume marijuana within the security of a private residence.  So do not consume pot in any public area including parks, hotel rooms or even your parked car.   All of these seemingly innocent places to use marijuana can easily lead to serious legal consequences.

Who Can Buy Marijuana While Visiting Colorado?

Any adult person over the age of 21 can possess and consume marijuana in the State of Colorado, period.  Amendment 64 makes no separate legal classification regarding rights of Colorado residents vs. out of state marijuana tourists regarding the purchase, possession, or use of marijuana in state of Colorado.

What Are The Marijuana Purchase Limits?

Amendment 64 is defines a purchase limit of one (1) ounce of marijuana for Colorado residents (Must have a valid and current ID).  Out of state visitors may purchase up one-quarter ounce of marijuana (Must also have a valid and current ID).

How Is Recreational Marijuana Sold?

Recreational marijuana is sold at state-licensed and governed dispensaries.  Simply visit and produce your valid state issued ID to purchase recreational marijuana on the spot.

The state of Colorado originally provided licenses to 136 dispensaries located across the state to sell recreational marijuana.  However, the locations of marijuana stores is subject to approval at the county, city, and town level.  For example, in Colorado Springs, the sale of recreational marijuana was prohibited, but in nearby Manitou Springs, the sale of recreational marijuana was allowed.

What Are The Operating Hours for Pot Shops in Colorado?

Colorado state law mandates that that marijuana stores cannot open before 8:00 a.m. and must close before 12:00 midnight.  However, these operating hours may be further restricted by county, city, or community ordinances.

What Is The Safest Way To Transport Marijuana Legally Purchased?

The safest way to transport pot is in your closed and locked trunk.

What Are The Driving Penalties For Smoking Weed in Colorado?

The legal problems that you will face if you drive while high are many, and severe.

If you are stopped while driving while stoned in Colorado, you will be subject the state’s “Express Consent” law.  This law states that by taking the action of operating any motorized vehicle on a Colorado road constitutes automatic consent to a blood or breath test if law enforcement personnel has reason to believe that doing so while ability impaired, in this case – high.

To determine if you are actually driving while stoned, authorities will order that a blood draw be made and your blood sample tested for the presence and the concentration level of active THC metabolites measured in nano-grams per liter.  If more than 5 nano-grams of THC metabolites are present in your blood sample, you will be charged with a DUID offense.

Other Things to Consider Prior to Visiting Colorado to Smoke or Purchase Marijuana

Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana is still very much an evolving process subject to rapid rule changes from area to area.  People supporting this legislation want nothing but the best for this industry and encourage residents an marijuana tourists alike to enjoy this newly created right by purchasing and consuming marijuana in a legal and responsible fashion.  We encourage anyone who has a question about smoking pot in Colorado to first check with a attorney regarding any recently updated rules that they may not be aware of.