Coming to Colorado and planning on lighting up a joint in a local coffee shop? Don’t be surprised when you’re promptly asked to leave. While the Centennial state is famous for legalized marijuana, finding a place to consume it can be tricky. There’s a great deal of confusion for those who want to take their recent purchases for a test drive.
Just because there are cannabis-friendly hotel options available in Colorado doesn’t mean all lodging options are so accommodating. A Texas man found out the hard way, after receiving a $200 extra charge on his bill simply for leaving his cannabis behind in the room. Many hotels are finding these fines are a great way to generate additional revenue from unsuspecting marijuana enthusiasts. If you haven’t used a travel service to book your trip, it’s highly doubtful you can consume in your room. Always check the paperwork you receive on check in to verify the terms of your stay. Otherwise, your vacation may be a little more costly than you expected.
Parks and Public Places
Known for the abundance of great outdoor activities, Colorado frowns on mixing your outdoor pleasure with marijuana. In Denver alone, you’ll earn a is a $150 fine for smoking on/at “streets and highways, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds, and the common areas of public and private buildings or facilities.” And that’s just a first offense for public consumption. The exception is if you’re riding in a private vehicle,
Back in the day, quite a few medical dispensaries had a volcano vaporizer set up for patients to indulge with. Those days are long past. Even opening up a sealed package with just purchased product can get a shop in hot water. Don’t expect to consume on site, whether that’s a center or grow facility.
Private clubs are open, with varying degrees of legality. There currently is no licensing or permitting allocated by Denver for these clubs.
The most cannabis friendly event during 4/20 week is the designated area provided at the High Times Cannabis Cup. For several years now, the folks over at High Times have managed to section off a private area for those 21 and up (or 18+ with a medical card) to bring and use herb however they see fit. Note: that doesn’t include distributing or selling anything. This special area is considered private (not viewable by the public) and usually requires a special wristband to enter. Have your ID, and lungs, ready.
People firing up a joint at concerts is nothing new. Heck, it’s been happening since way before Woodstock. Most Colorado venues have clear policies about drug use at shows, some doing pat downs and bag searches before allowing you to enter. Once you’re through the doors, many security personnel will toss you faster for lighting up a cigarette than a joint, looking the other way if you’re using cannabis in a way that’s respectful to those around you. The same public use laws apply to these venues, however, so if you’re asked to put something out, you should. Otherwise, you might be leaving under undesired circumstances.
While there isn’t an exception to being ticketed at the 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park, there’s certainly less of a likelihood as tens of thousands of smokers gather at the annual event. One attendee reported that police officers instructed them to “Go into a crowd where we can’t pick you out” instead of smoking at the fringe of the action. People who chose to consume do so at their own risk, but there’s a reason that a smoke cloud hovers over the park at 4:20PM: It has become one of the iconic images of cannabis freedom in Colorado.