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Colorado’s Marijuana Laws

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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px 45px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Slow your doobie roll. While recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal in Colorado, you can’t just light up a “j” in a restaurant or get blazed and then shred the mountain.

Before you come to Boulder on a cannabis vacation, whether that’s to celebrate 4/20 or just for the novelty of it, know your rights — and wrongs.

Here’s what you need to know about Colorado’s marijuana laws to stay out of trouble.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Anyone can get high legally in Colorado.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You have to be 21 or older to smoke weed legally in Colorado. This goes for buying it, too. Just like alcohol, you can’t buy or give marijuana to minors. And no, you can’t go into a marijuana store “just to look” if you’re under age; the shops aren’t going to let you.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can walk into any cannabis shop in Colorado and buy whatever you want.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]There are two different kinds of marijuana stores: medical and retail, or recreational. Unless you have a medical card (known as a “red card”), you can’t buy anything at a medical-only shop. Only Colorado residents with a doctor’s referral can obtain one of these cards. You’ll have to find a licensed retail shop.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can smoke weed outside in Colorado, like hanging out on the Pearl Street Mall or in the park.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Recreational marijuana is for private consumption. You aren’t allowed to smoke it openly or publicly. Do some people do it anyway? Yes. But technically, that’s against the law and definitely not advised for a tourist. You’re also not legally allowed to consume it publicly (as in edibles). This includes at music and sporting venues (yes, even Red Rocks), bars, restaurants, sidewalks, buses (and all public transportation) and public patios. You can’t even smoke at a licensed cannabis store.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can smoke weed in your hotel room.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Many hotels forbid smoking of any kind, including marijuana, in your room or on premises. There are actually not a ton of openly cannabis-friendly hotels in Colorado. The best bet if you want to stay in a cannabis-friendly hotel is to book it through Colorado Cannabis Tours. This tour operator has special arrangements with hotels and claims it can set you up with hotels that normally don’t allow marijuana consumption but are willing to make exceptions.

You can also consider booking a smoking room, but always ask before you light up, or you might end up on the streets or with a fat fine. Just because a hotel allows tobacco smoking does not mean they are a fan of joints — or even vapes. In Colorado, it is also illegal to smoke marijuana on your hotel balcony in view of the public.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]So, you can’t get high in a regular bar or coffee shop, but you can get high at special cannabis-friendly social clubs.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Nope. These kinds of businesses are illegal, according to the state.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Take a hit on the chairlift before going down the ski slopes.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Most Colorado ski resorts, including Eldora (near Boulder), are on federal land, and marijuana is still illegal federally. You can even lose your season pass or get kicked out if you’re caught consuming cannabis on the mountain.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can find pot stores in any city in Colorado.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Not every city has a cannabis dispensary. Not even all tourist hotspots do. Before planning a 4/20 vacation to a certain location, check that city’s website and learn its laws about sale and consumption; that varies from city to city.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]It’s cool to have marijuana in your car. The cops can’t arrest you.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Think of it like alcohol: It’s not permitted in an open container. It’s also illegal to get high and drive. If you have a certain threshold of THC in your blood, you can get a DUI. You can’t cruise around with a joint. You can, however, get high in the back of a limousine, if it has been hired for this purpose and the driver agrees. Only in the back seat, though.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can carry around as much marijuana as you want on your person, in your car or in your hotel room.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can possess up to 1 ounce of recreational marijuana. Dispensaries won’t sell you more than that at a time, anyway. Tourists used to be limited to 7 grams but now they can carry the same as residents.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You can carry more than 1 ounce of edibles, though.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]The laws are the same no matter the cannabis form. Because this can get complicated with edibles and drinks, ask your “bud-tender” to help.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]You don’t really have to worry about the marijuana laws. Cops in Colorado are so chill, they don’t really enforce the laws.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Don’t risk it. You can be fined or even end in up in prison if you violate the laws.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Myth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]If you buy cannabis legally, you can take it out of Colorado, because it was bought in a licensed, legal dispensary.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center”]Truth[/x_custom_headline][cs_text]Not a chance. Don’t take it across state lines. Don’t bring it in the Denver International Airport. If you don’t finish your edibles before you have to leave Boulder, just let them go. Don’t try to sneak them in your carry-on.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

Boulder’s Cannabis Regulations

Specific regulations vary from city to city (mostly about licensing and selling), and Boulder has some of its own quirks. Although Boulder has a bit of a longstanding hippie/stoner reputation, its regulations are considered by some to be stricter than other cities.

  • Some dispensaries in Boulder close before 7 p.m. The regulations have just recently changed, permitting them to stay open until around 10 p.m.
  • Also note: You can’t get high at on Boulder County open space or on national forest land because marijuana is illegal under federal law and open space is a public area.

Want to Learn More?

Visit colorado.gov/marijuana for state laws.

Visit bouldercounty.org/doc/adminservices/mjfaq.pdf for Boulder specifics.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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