6 Things You Need To Know To Be a Colorado Weed Tourist. For stoners in Colorado, and for that matter across the country, January 1, 2014 was their own version of D-Day. As of midnight, the Rocky Mountain State became the first in the union to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana. Anyone over the age of 21 could walk into a legal weed retailer, throw down some cash, and walk out unmolested by law enforcement with some sweet sticky bud (and we mean the good stuff). And the question non-Colorado residents are now asking is, can I get in on that action? The good news is that yes, you can, although there are some caveats. In the interest of helping out herb enthusiasts nationwide, here are the 6 things you need to know if you want to be a Colorado weed tourist. While 136 licenses have been approved throughout the state, less than a third of those stores had completed the full process in time for Wednesday’s grand opening, so the lines were pretty long. Colorado residents over the age of 21 with a valid ID can purchase up to one ounce per transaction. Out-of-staters, on the other hand, can only buy one quarter of an ounce per transaction. While the words "recreational marijuana" never actually appear in the Colorado law, that is what it is. So all you need is a valid state or federal picture ID that proves you are over the age of 21. Because of the complexity of federal banking regulations, when it comes to purchasing weed, for the foreseeable future cash will be king. Thanks to the limited number of retailers right now, supply is low and demand is high. Only 18 stores in Denver had completed the full process in time for Wednesday’s grand opening. Prices are a bit on the high side, although experts seem to agree that those prices will eventually come down. Right now and for the near future, most of your purchasing is going to have to be done in Denver. Of the 136 approved licenses, three quarters of them are in the city and county of Denver. In fact, one aspect of the law is that any city or community in Colorado can opt out of having legalized retail pot, so there may be some areas that never have it. You can’t smoke weed in public in Colorado, nor in public parks or campgrounds. Also, a lot of hotels are smoke free, so no lighting up there either. Unlike, say, in Amsterdam, where you can smoke in weed cafés, Colorado doesn’t have any such establishments, or any legal means to create such establishments, so it will be a little tricky to be a weed tourist unless you know someone who lives in the state. Although, if you are willing to spend some cash, there are three travel companies in Colorado who will provide marijuana tours. According to an article in the Denver Post , the tours will take pot enthusiasts to newly opened stores and private grow operations in limos and SUVs. Timothy Vee, the owner of Colorado High Life Tours, told the Post that his guests will be able to smoke weed from vaporizers in the limos (so the driver won’t get a contact high). Although under Colorado law it’s illegal to have an open container of marijuana in a private vehicle, or consume pot on public transportation, the laws are a little fuzzy when it comes to limos, tour vans or buses, according to the Post . For the time being at least, it looks like these companies will be exploiting that legal fuzziness. What happens if I try to take it back to my home state?
Well, unless you have a hankering to see the inside of a federal prison, you should definitely not take any weed across Colorado state lines. Weed possession is still technically against federal law, and while the U.S. government said it will not challenge the legalization in Colorado, it will still come down hard on anyone trying to transport it across state lines. Current federal law dictates that a first time violation of marijuana possession laws can land you a minimum of a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Fortunately, if you get caught transporting it without any clear motive for remuneration, it is still considered possession without intent to distribute. However, if law enforcement thinks you’re trying to make money on the deal, distribution of any amount up to 50 kilos carries a maximum five-year prison stay and a $250,000 fine. More than 50 kilos and the penalties are far more severe. In order to help keep things in state, Denver International Airport has banned all pot on airport grounds. Even if you have it in your car while dropping someone off for their flight, you could be on the hook for a $999 fine.
This seems like too much work, when will my state legalize it already? A ballot initiative to legalize marijuana was passed in November of 2012 and it’s expected that vendors could begin selling it as soon as May or June of this year.