(9news.com) FORT COLLINS - Colorado's ski resorts and mountain towns are bracing for an influx of tourists seeking a now-legal Rocky Mountain high.
Last year, the state legalized the possession and use of small amounts
of recreational marijuana, and on Jan. 1 special stores will be allowed
to sell pot to anyone 21 and over. Voters had previously approved a
medical marijuana system, but last fall's vote threw the doors wide open
by requiring state officials to regulate pot like alcohol.
With several companies offering marijuana tours - sightseeing tours of
the state's high country, with marijuana supplied - police and ski area
operators worry that tourists who don't understand the rules will be
sparking up on the slopes.
"We're delving into truly uncharted territory here," said Summit County
Sheriff John Minor, whose jurisdiction covers the Arapahoe Basin,
Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas. "We do have this misperception in
Summit County where people have smoked in public, been charged, and were
under the perception that it's a free-for-all."
Under the law, marijuana may be smoked by adults but only in private.
But exactly what "private" means is still the subject of debate. Minor
says a private vehicle on a public road, for example, is considered "in
Marijuana tour operator Timothy Vee of Colorado High Life Tours says to
get around those rules, his drivers sometimes pull into a parking lot,
allowing tour guests to partake of the pot he offers. Under current law,
it's legal to give another adult marijuana as long as there's no direct
payment for it. Vee and other operators charge people to rent the limo
and driver and say the pot, snacks and soda are free.
For $1,200 a day, tourists can rent a chauffeured minibus from Vee to
pick them up at their hotel and drive them to the slopes while they use
marijuana during the ride. Continue Reading...