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Tips for Non-Residents Traveling to the Mile High City

March 23, 2016

If you are traveling to Denver and are interested in taking advantage of the recent legalization, you will want to know the policies before you get there. Get familiar with Colorado rules and regulations and don't assume residents and visitors have the same policies.

Weed shops in Denver will be familiar, of course, with legal policies, but if you are traveling to – or through – Denver and plan to purchase or use marijuana, you will want to make sure you are familiar with the cannabis policy of Colorado.

Folks who live in places where marijuana is not legal, tend to think that everyone in Denver is walking down the street smoking or vaping – the assumption being two-fold:  1. That everyone in Colorado uses weed because it's legal, and 2. That all those users are consuming in public. Colorado residents find these assumptions quite humorous.

We find these assumptions amusing because while the legalization of marijuana may have put the subject in the media, it hasn't put it in the public much more than it was before legalization – the main reason being that it is actually illegal to consume marijuana in public in Colorado.

Visitors (and even some residents) may not know that the rules for retail marijuana use within the city of Denver state that marijuana is not for public consumption. This includes but is not limited to areas accessible to the public such as transportation facilities, schools, amusement/sporting/music venues, parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, roads and outdoor and rooftop cafes.

It is also illegal to smoke at indoor-but-public locations like bars, restaurants and common areas in buildings. You can't even consume marijuana in or around the licensed store where you will purchase your weed.

Another law you will want to be familiar with is the one that states that all users and purchasers of weed must be 21 or older. Still one more law that's really important:  Colorado residents 21 and older can purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of retail marijuana at a time, while non-residents can only purchase up to ¼ ounce at a time. 

It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and it can result in a DUI, just like alcohol. Anyone with 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) per milliliter in whole blood (CRS 42-4-1301) while driving can be arrested for DUI. The consequences of a DUI are dependent on the driver, but they can include fines, jail time and a revoked license, none of which are ever fun – especially if you are from out of town.

However, while it is illegal for drivers and front-seat passengers to use marijuana in taxis and limousines in Denver, if the taxi or limousine operator allows for it, marijuana may be consumed in the rear passenger area only. So plan to use taxis or rent a limo to get around.

What are the consequences if you violate marijuana laws? Penalties range from a fine to a possible jail or prison sentence. Colorado State Statutes and Denver Revised Municipal Code spell out the specific penalties for various violations.

At Altitude Dispensary, the best dispensary in Denver, you will find helpful, experienced staff to guide you in your purchase of medical and recreational marijuana. Contact us before venturing to Denver to get up-to-date information about your rights and responsibilities where marijuana consumption in Denver is concerned.