The issue around cannabis or marijuana is a complicated one, but there are eight states in the country where there is no longer a debate around it. Marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Colorado and Washington are the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2012.
Among the cities that has a vibrant marijuana scene is Denver where there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks stores. There are some people who even go to great lengths to move to Denver because of its marijuana legalization. One of the attractions for those who visit Denver is the chance to legally use marijuana recreationally.
Whether you are planning to live in Denver or just dropping by for a visit, here are some things you need to know about using marijuana in Denver.
- It is only legal for those who are 21 years old and above. To be able to purchase, consume, and possess marijuana legally, you will have to be at least 21 years old. It is illegal to sell or give marijuana to minors. If you are buying marijuana, make sure to have your driver’s license, passport, or any government-issued identification ready. Otherwise, you will not be able to purchase any.
- Make sure to purchase only from licensed retail marijuana stores. Even if marijuana is legal in Denver, there are still stores or individuals who sell them illegally. For any store to sell retail marijuana, it has to be a licensed one. Check that the store is licensed before purchasing your marijuana.
- Retail marijuana may only be consumed privately. Yes, marijuana is legal in Denver, but it does not mean that people are consuming them in public. Remember to consume marijuana only in private. You may not consume it even in licensed retail marijuana stores. You may also not consume it inside your car – this is not considered a private place.
- You may possess only up to one ounce of retail marijuana. Marijuana legalization in Denver does not mean that people walk around carrying loads of it. Only up to one ounce of retail marijuana at a time may be in your possession.
- There are no clubs or shops where it is legal to consume marijuana. Avoid any establishment that promotes the consumption of marijuana in their premises. These businesses are illegal. The only place you may consume your marijuana is in private.
- You are not allowed to drive under the influence of marijuana. Skip driving if you plan to consume marijuana because you can get a DUI if caught. Penalties for this include jail time, fines, and a revoked license.
- It is illegal to cross state lines with marijuana. Colorado is bordered by the states of Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, all of which are states where marijuana is illegal. Any marijuana in Colorado, stays in Colorado. It is also illegal to possess and consume marijuana in the Denver International Airport.
- Licensed recreational marijuana stores in Denver close by 10pm. Although Colorado allows marijuana stores to be open until midnight, specific Denver rules require them to close by 10pm.
- You may not possess marijuana in federal properties. This includes national parks, monuments, national forests, federal buildings, and other ski areas that are on federal land. Violation of this is punishable by jail time and a fine, so remember to leave your marijuana behind before going to these federal properties.
- You may cultivate only up to six plants. Denver residents may grow their own cannabis plants, but only up to six plants.
For more information about Denver beyond the use of marijuana, check out the Bellhops city guide.