If you’re using marijuana, stay up to date with the laws about who can use it, where to use it, and when.
First off, did you know Colorado treats retail and medical marijuana differently? Anyone over age 21 can buy and use retail marijuana, even visitors to the state. Medical marijuana is only allowed for Colorado residents with a recommendation by a doctor.
1. Now that pot is legal, anyone can have it, right?
Wrong. Anyone under the age of 21 who is caught with recreational pot will get a ticket. Selling retail marijuana to someone under age 21 will also earn you a misdemeanor. This same rule even allows cannabis stores to keep fake IDs and hold you if you are trying to illegally buy pot! So unless you feel like getting in trouble for a fake ID and trying to illegally buy marijuana, don’t risk it.
If you do get caught with a joint or a pipe as a minor, the first offense will cost you up to $100 or a substance abuse class. Yes, that means going to class on the weekend or evening to learn about how pot is the “Devil’s lettuce”. Your second time getting caught will result in a $100 fine, the ultra-fun substance abuse class, 24 hours of community service and maybe substance abuse treatment. For a third offense, there is a fine of up to $250, 36 hours of community service and substance abuse treatment. If you want to volunteer that bad, we can help find a worthy cause without the legal trouble.
2. Open Container Rules
You can get a ticket for an open container of pot, just like alcohol. Open marijuana container means anything that holds weed or a marijuana accessory that contains any amount of marijuana, even if it has only residue! This applies to containers with a broken seal or any evidence that marijuana has been consumed in a vehicle. Don’t “hot-box” your car, it’s dangerous and illegal.
3. Can I Buy Weed From The Kid In College Down The Street?
Absolutely not! Retail stores are the ONLY place you can legally buy marijuana in Colorado and they cannot sell more than an ounce (28 grams) of pot to Colorado residents, in a transaction. For non-residents of Colorado, retail stores can sell a quarter ounce (7 grams) of marijuana a single transaction. Be careful if you are in a retail shop that allows you to leave with more than legally allowed, you can both get in trouble whether you knew it was against the law or not.
4. Gifting Marijuana And The Craigslist Dilemma
There is one way to get retail cannabis, other than buying it from a shop; having it gifted to you. This means you are allowed to give another person, over age 21, up to an ounce of pot. This means you are NOT allowed to accept “donations” for free gifts – the police will bust you.
There are plenty of Craigslist ads for these type of deals but police know about this and have been cracking down. People in California pioneered this exchange method but it is now an easy target for law enforcement. Don’t buy or sell marijuana on the internet, you’re asking for trouble.
5. Public Safety
There are a few rules that will go into effect in late 2014 regarding safety. Edibles will be packaged in a child-resistant container and have a limit of 100mg of active THC per package (100mg is roughly 10 servings!). Retail marijuana products will also be required to have labels that list ingredients, refrigerating instructions, serving size in milligrams, number of servings and total active THC per package, expiration date, license numbers, production batch numbers, warning statements, and date of sale.
These rules will help bring some clarity to the marijuana buying experience. Make sure you know your limit and you don’t overdo it with pot brownies the next time you’re catching a buzz.