Business

Legalized But Nowhere to Smoke It

Those wishing to visit Colorado in hopes of buying some recreational marijuana and enjoying a “kick your feet up and light up” vacation, think again. Yes, tourists and residents can legally purchase the cannabis but where can they smoke it? Well, that is a large gray area thus, making it the ‘Colorado Cannabis Conundrum’. Where to smoke in this “no smoking in public era” is the problem in most places where cannabis is legalized or decriminalized. The legalization of buying and selling cannabis in any locale is not the only project that presently needs attention, as designated areas, or a better definition of “no smoking in public places” also needs attention and to be defined! The issue of where to smoke has residents and especially tourists resorting to sneaking down alleyways, or hiding in their cars (especially rental cars), or smoking on hotel room balconies. The potential for fines for smoking in public or even public intoxication is a constant legitimate fear.

Amendment 64 prohibits the consumption of cannabis and cannabis products on the premises of the places that sell it, additionally cannabis stores cannot sell anything other than marijuana and marijuana related products. This eliminates

the possibility of consuming cannabis in a controlled environment of the dispensary, forcing visitors and users to seek elsewhere to smoke.

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits the smoking of cannabis in bars and restaurants, while Amendment 64 does not permit the consumption “openly or publicly”, similar to open container laws for drinking in public. Where are all of the residents and visitors supposed to safely enjoy their cannabis? Gray areas abound, and although there are no Amsterdam style smoking clubs or bars in Colorado (yet), there are some hotels, and motels that are 420 friendly. These properties are expanding and changing with the growth of the industry, so be sure to call your hotel before planning any cannabis based trips to Colorado.

Hotels are left to their own discretion on allowing the consumption of marijuana. Hotel balconies, then, seem to be the ideal place to partake, but that can be misconstrued as an “open and public place,” depending on location and time of day.

Hotels can come across as cannaphobic. It might be some time before they begin to accept cannabis users as regular patrons, rather than stereotyping them. My 420 Tours is the premiere cannabis concierge service. They can assist you with all of your Colorado cannabis tour needs. Go to My420Tours.com/Edibles to view their package options.

Since “openly and publicly” can indicate several places, such as sidewalks, parks, restaurants, etc., this leaves very little choice for those who wish to consume cannabis without reprimand. Residents of Colorado have the right to smoke and consume in their own privately owned homes, but that still leaves the many tourists with the ‘Colorado Cannabis Conundrum’, with no legal place to smoke. Though this issue certainly does not trump the groundbreaking news of widespread cannabis acceptance, it is a concern that should be moved to the forefront. We can buy all the marijuana we want, but if there is nowhere safe and secure for us to smoke it, why bother?

NATHAN FOISY
STAFF EDITOR

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