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questions and answers


The passage and governor’s proclamation of Amendment 64 on Monday, which makes Colorado one of the first two states to legalize limited possession and sales of marijuana, has prompted a flood of questions about what happens now.

Herewith, some answers.

Answer: Yes. But also no. It is now not against state law for people 21 and older in Colorado to use marijuana, to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants. It is also “not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Colorado law” the words of the amendment for one adult to give marijuana to another adult. pandora jewelry But legal, recreational marijuana sales can only occur through licensed pot shops, which have yet to open.

The federal government, meanwhile, considers all marijuana possession, cultivation and distribution a crime, no matter what state law says.

Q: Do I need a license or a registration to possess marijuana?

A: No.

Q: So if a local police officer catches me with, say, a half ounce, they won’t arrest or ticket me?

A: Not for marijuana they won’t.

Q: What about two ounces?

A: Still illegal unless you’re a medical marijuana patient. With the exception of the few allowances in the amendment, which supporters say cover the vast majority of people who get in trouble for marijuana, all other marijuana related crimes remain in place.

Q: What about a pipe or a bong?A: The amendment says that “possessing, using, displaying, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories” is not a crime.

Attorney Rob Corry argues that Amendment 64 also makes marijuana paraphernalia legal under federal law in Colorado. The list of places where you can’t smoke marijuana post legalization is probably longer than the list of places where you can. You can’t smoke at schools or on school grounds. You can’t smoke in privately owned buildings where the owner doesn’t want you to and that includes apartment buildings or other rental properties where the landlord says pot is not allowed. You can’t even possess marijuana in federal office buildings, courthouses, national parks or national forests.

And, most significantly, you can’t smoke outdoors in public parks or on the sidewalk. The amendment says, “nothing in this section shall permit consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.”

About the only place it is 100 percent clear you can smoke marijuana is in a free standing home that you own.

Q: What if my home is a college dorm room?

A: Then you should trash your stash. Colleges and universities across Colorado have been uniform in saying that marijuana possession or use on campus in the dorms and elsewhere is not allowed. Even if you’re over 21 and legal under state law to possess marijuana, you could still face school code of conduct charges for possessing marijuana on campus.

Q: What about smoking inside marijuana friendly businesses? Can somebody create a cannabis club?

A: Possibly. A lot will depend on the regulations the state and local governments adopt, but nothing in Amendment 64 says businesses can’t allow people to bring in their own marijuana and smoke on site. In Washington, whose new marijuana legalization law is similar in many ways to Colorado’s, a bar owner is already doing just that.

Q: Do you have to be a Colorado resident for the law to apply to you?

A: Nope. Amendment 64’s possession laws apply to everybody who is in Colorado at any given time regardless of whether they live here full time. And, when recreational marijuana stores open up in the state, the amendment’s only requirement on their customers is to present “government issued identification to determine the consumer’s age.”

Q: So, we’re like the Amsterdam of the West now?

A: Actually, some advocates argue that Colorado now has more liberal marijuana laws than the famously dank destination. Amsterdam’s cannabis coffee shops are really only half legal, with marijuana sales in the Netherlands technically illegal. The Dutch government recently backed off a plan to prevent tourists from visiting the shops, but it is pursuing a ban on sales of high potency marijuana.

In Colorado, at least, the legal place of marijuana stores is now written into the state’s constitution. Regulations of the stores will have a big impact on what the market in Colorado looks like, but don’t be surprised to see cannabis connoisseurs arriving at DIA, even though tourism boosters aren’t thrilled at the idea.

Q: But there aren’t currently any recreational marijuana stores, right? Can anyone over 21 shop at medical marijuana dispensaries now?


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