Can you Legally Smoke Marijuana in Public in Colorado?
Can you Smoke Marijuana in Public?
Every day we hear the question, “Where can I smoke my marijuana?”. Although cannabis is quite easy to get now, it’s not so easy to find a place to consume your newly purchased green. In accordance with Colorado pot laws, it is illegal to consume cannabis in public. This means that weed cannot be consumed in places like parks, campgrounds, restaurants, bars, ski areas, dispensaries, bus stops, hiking trails, or anywhere that is considered a public space. All forms of cannabis are included in the public use ban, including edibles, vapes, and flower. Smoking in public is illegal in Colorado, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Where can you Smoke Marijuana in Public?
So, after you visit your favorite Denver dispensary, where can you go to light up or chow down? Many hotels do allow some form of usage, but make sure that you clarify with the front desk as to what is and is not allowed. Many hotels will hit you with a hefty fine if they find out that you have been smoking in your room. Colorado Cannabis Tours is a great website for finding cannabis-friendly hotel rooms.
Airbnb typically has quite a few smoker friendly options as well. There are a few private lounges around Denver where you can consume cannabis, including iBake Denver and Tetra Lounge. Both of these spaces are considered private lounges and require a membership to partake, but memberships can generally be purchased on a daily basis for a reasonable price. There are also a few tour bus companies that will take you to different Denver destinations on a decked-out bus that allows smoking and vaping. Loopr Tours and My 420 Tours are two such services that have a variety of options, including movie nights and grow tours.
The most common place where people choose to consume their cannabis is in a private residence, meaning inside of someone’s house or apartment. The catch here is that it’s legal for landlords and apartment complexes to ban cannabis use on their property, despite the fact that weed is legal. Many apartment buildings will also use The Colorado Clean Air Act as a means of making sure people are not smoking cannabis on their property. Make sure to always ask your host if it is ok to light up before you do so, and make sure that your host is the owner or leaseholder for the property.
What are the Cannabis Laws in Denver?
The laws surrounding cannabis use have been in flux since cannabis was legalized. The wording of Amendment 64 left room for state and local policymakers to dictate their own rules, meaning that public use laws are not the same in every city in Colorado.
One major hurdle lawmakers faced when defining these rules was whether or not a person’s front porch was their private property or if someone smoking in front of a large window was considered to be “in public”. Many resolutions have been proposed to address this but all have been rejected for one reason or another. As reported by the Denver Post in 2017, one of the more out there proposals that were rejected is the “party of 5 rule”, stating that you can smoke on your front porch but with no more than 5 people who do not live in the residence. Currently in Denver, if you are on private property then you are not in public, regardless of whether or not you can be seen from the street. In other cities, this is still a grey area.
Amendment 64 states that cannabis should be regulated in the same way as alcohol, but it has taken time for the two substances to be treated equally. House Bill 1230 was recently introduced in Colorado to allow cannabis tasting rooms that are attached to dispensaries. This would allow dispensaries to operate in a similar fashion to winery or brewery tasting rooms and approval would be a huge step forward in treating cannabis like alcohol. As reported by Fox 31 News, the bill would also allow other businesses, like spas and hotels, to apply for cannabis licenses.
What happens if you are caught consuming cannabis in public?
According to the Denver Municipal Code, you will be hit with a non-criminal violation and a fine of $150 for your first offense, $500 for your second offense, and $999 if you are caught three or more times. Cannabis legalization is a work in progress but there can be no doubt that progress is being made. You can support that progress and help Colorado set an example for the rest of the country by enjoying your cannabis in the appropriate setting and making sure that those who are enjoying it with you are over the age of 21.
Responsibility Grows Here is a handy website paid for by cannabis tax dollars and ran by the State of Colorado. It is a great resource for those wanting more information about consuming cannabis in Colorado. Please enjoy your High Level Health Award Winning Cannabis responsibly