Exactly how far does “420 friendly” stretch in Denver?
With the legalization of the retail sale and purchase of marijuana in Colorado, the state took its first step in a new frontier. For many, though, this has been a learn-as-you-go process and the fact is that the world of legal weed is still slowly coming into focus. The blanket statement that “weed is legal in Colorado” has led to the big question of just how legal is legal?
Kevin, a transit security officer with RTD who preferred to keep his family name private, chuckles at the memory of a young man on one of the platforms who was smoking a joint. When he told him to get it out of sight, the youth had responded “It’s cool. I have my medical marijuana license and plus it’s legal now.” To which Kevin had replied, “It’s not that legal.” Smoking weed in public can still result in getting busted, same as being sighted for an open container of alcohol.
“I think that when it became legal, the parameters weren’t made readily available to the public. So some folks just weren’t sure,” says Kevin.
The City of Denver and Colorado government have since taken steps to educate the public on what those legal limits are. For locals and tourists alike, it is important to know beforehand the laws regarding weed and the purchase and consumption of it. This is a good example of when the old adage “know before you go” is right, as penalties for breaking the law can be anywhere from a fine to jail time.
Here are some of the basics:
• You must be 21 years or older to have or use marijuana.
• It is illegal to consume marijuana in public.
• Only licensed establishments may sell retail marijuana products.
• It is illegal to drive high.
• It is illegal to take marijuana out of the state.
• It is illegal to give or sell retail marijuana to minors.
The quantity one can purchase and posses at any given time is also limited, and by state law Colorado residents can purchase and possess up to one ounce at a time, while non-residents are restricted to one quarter of an ounce, or 7 grams at a time.
An additional ramification that many now legal users are encountering is with work related drug testing. Staffing agencies have encountered a number of surprised employees where the common answer is “oh, you drug test for that?” Yes, and in most cases, employers will still red flag an applicant or employee for testing positive for cannabis consumption (THC) either on the job or at the time of applying. You would not show up drunk to work, stoned is the same.
The cannabis industry is bring a whole new world of business and tourism to Denver and Colorado in general. Although legal in the state, under federal law the herb is still illegal, so just be wise and arm yourself with the legal limits of marijuana usage in Colorado before checking out local dispensaries.
Check out the following link for more detailed information on the legal limits regarding marijuana usage in Denver: https://www.colorado.gov/marijuanainfodenver/