That cheeky “holiday” that gives new meaning to the nickname “Mile High City” is finally here! With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, this year’s 4/20 festivities promise to be nothing short of epic. As your friendly Denver defense lawyers, however, we thought it wise to issue a reminder that while pot itself might be legal, using it in public is still absolutely forbidden by law.
Regardless of what you might have heard, law enforcement authorities will be cracking down on those smoking/vaporizing/ingesting weed openly this year. So unless you have $1,000 to spare and no need for government benefits--ever, we highly suggest you refrain from toking up in any of the following places:
1. Hotel Rooms: This presents a problem for the thousands of pot tourists expected to arrive in Colorado this weekend, but most hotels ban the drug from their premises even if you do manage to secure one of those rare smoking rooms or, better yet, score your own balcony. Out-of-towners will have to Couchsurf with like-minded hosts, or get on the waiting list at Denver’s first “Bud and Breakfast” instead.
2. Bars or Restaurants: If the lack of canals didn’t give it away, Denver isn’t Amsterdam and as such, we don’t have any of those famed coffee shops in which to wile away an afternoon. Marijuana is off-limits in all of Denver’s bars, cafes, and restaurants, so you’ll have to order take-out if you’re interested in sampling the Pakalolo Shrimp on Hapa Sushi’s marijuana-pairing menu.
3. Private Jets: It should be obvious by now that Justin Bieber is not the example to follow in life. All those friendly skies technically belong to the federal government, who isn’t friendly at all when it comes to marijuana. Furthermore, pot is explicitly banned at all of Colorado’s airports—even if you’re there just to pick up a friend.
4. Vehicles: Dude, open container laws apply to marijuana as well--although if this CNN reporter’s experience is anything to go by, some private limousine companies may legally allow their passengers to enjoy their purchases in the backseat.
5. Parks: Organizers of the 420 Rally at Civic Center Park are formally discouraging attendees from partaking in marijuana at the event, but if that’s not deterrence enough, both Denver and Boulder issue fines of up to $1,000 for smoking pot in parks or on sidewalks. Oh, and this includes the broad scope of national parks and forests, city parks, and national monuments—pretty much anywhere green (ironically).
6. Ski Slopes: The federal government actually rents our beautiful mountains back to Colorado’s ski resorts, so marijuana won’t be tolerated on the slopes either—and while we’re at it, there’s a very heavy fine just for getting on a chairlift stoned.
While support for legalized marijuana is growing, 63 percent of Americans claim smoking in public still bothers them. That means you’ll just have to enjoy your stash from the comfort of your own backyard for the moment—or buy a ticket to Amsterdam if you’d prefer a more social vibe.