Some skiing enthusiasts may see the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado as a golden opportunity for riding high.
But as with other states that have gone the legalization route, there are rules. So make sure to get acquainted with them before planning a big ski resort trip with Mary Jane.
Cannabis in Colorado
The Colorado Marijuana Legalization Amendment, or Amendment 64, passed with 55.3 percent of the vote in November 2012, legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2000, after voters passed Initiative 20.
The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) regulates recreational and medical marijuana in the state. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulates the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry.
Where and How to Buy
Adults 21 and older can buy up to 1 ounce, or 28.35 grams, of cannabis from a licensed retail store in the state. Consumers can find marijuana retail locations by searching on Weedmaps.
Make sure to bring your government-issued ID to prove your age, and cash – since most retailers can't deal with banks because of marijuana's federal status as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Any adult with a government-issued ID that is 21 and old can buy pot from a recreational marijuana retailer, but Colorado doesn't allow out-of-state medical marijuana patients to buy from dispensaries within the state.
Also, remember to leave minors at home. No one younger than 21 is allowed in the restricted retail area of the store.
What Isn't Allowed
It's illegal for individuals younger than 21 to buy or use recreational cannabis, and it's a felony to sell or give it to anyone under age.
Adults 21 and older can't buy or have more than 1 ounce, or 28.35 g, of cannabis at any time. They can give up to 1 ounce, or 28.35 g, of marijuana to another adult 21 and older, but can't sell it.
Indoor or outdoor public use isn't allowed – this includes amusement parks, ski resorts, bars, common areas of apartment and condo complexes, to name a few. Marijuana's federal status as a Schedule I controlled substance also prohibits its use on federal land — national parks, forests, and yes, ski slopes.
Private property is the way to go with marijuana use, but it's important to note that property owners have the right to restrict use. In other words, your landlord can say you can't smoke weed if you live in an apartment.
Same goes for hotels. If you're planning a big vacation stay at a hotel, research whether the hotel allows marijuana use.
Along those lines, local rules can differ from the state's. Remember to do your research on specific areas.
First-Time Use in Colorado
While hitting the slopes high for the first time might have seemed like a good idea, it's probably not. Not only is it illegal, but new users should shoot for a mellow experience.
With that in mind, ask plenty of questions at the dispensary and start with low doses. Know how you'll react to the high before doing any vigorous activity.