By Bernie on 04 Jan 2014
Now that Colorado this week became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use (1), the question arises for residents in other states who live too far away to drive is how do I get there cheaply?
A recent visit to a few travel sites reveals that as long as you don't go there immediately, Southwest has the lowest fares. For example, I live near Newark Airport and a round-trip flight to Denver two weeks from now leaving Saturday and returning the next day will set me back about $231 total.
Since I am not a Colorado resident I will only be able to buy a quarter of an ounce per visit (Colorado residents can purchase one ounce; or two ounces with a medical marijuana card). But you can make multiple visits per day; just make sure you don't have more than one ounce in your possession at one time.
Now where can you smoke it? In Denver, marijuana can be consumed on private property just don't be brazen about it. Be very discreet smoking it in public even if you see others doing it openly.
The cost? For recreational use it will cost $100 or more for a quarter ounce, less if you have a medical marijuana card.
What about the feds, isn't it still illegal federally?Yes, but according to the U.S. Department of Justice recently published Cole memorandum [PDF], unless you take it out of state, give it to underage youths, or engage in activities that promote an illegal drug trade, they are taking a hands off approach to Colorado.
As for taking it back home, please be aware that it's very likely still illegal even if you have a medical marijuana card from your home state.
Now may be a good time to invest in Southwest Airlines stock.
Disclaimer as to buying pot: I sometimes provide information about the law designed to help my readers safely cope with their own legal needs. But legal information is not the same as legal advice or how you may apply the law to your individual, specific circumstances. I spend a great deal of time to make sure my information is accurate and useful; however, I recommend that you consult a lawyer (as much as that may be distasteful) if you want professional assurance that my information (and your interpretation of it) is appropriate to your particular situation.
Disclaimer as to medical information: It is not my intention to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide my readers with information so that they may better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided, and I urge you to consult with a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your personal questions. If the law of this country endangers your life by preventing you from obtaining medical treatment because of stupidity, government rationing or a misplaced sense of morals, then by all means take my specific medical advice since it may be illegal for you to consult with a qualified medical professional (and just hope for the best).
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CNN.com, 3 Jan 2014, Colorado marijuana law is springboard for other states
Now, Colorado's historic legalization policy is being touted as a springboard for the other states.
In 2012, Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, as did voters in Washington state. But Colorado is the first to have the pot shops up and running under regulations recently established by state and local governments. Colorado voters' approval in effect amended the state's constitution to allow for the retail sale of recreational pot. The state already allowed medical marijuana.
The entire state is not implementing the law, however. A community can decide not to allow the shops, and in fact, most areas of the state have not, including communities such as Greeley and Colorado Springs.
Caption for photo: Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke and listen to live music at the Denver 420 Rally on April 20. Annual festivals celebrating marijuana are held around the world on April 20, a counterculture holiday.
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