Happy new year to the dudes and dudettes trading in champagne for munchies in Colorado today. On this first day of the new year, Colorado becomes the first place to allow legal marijuana sales to anyone over the age of 21.
So what's legal and what isn't? Read on:
Wait, wasn't marijuana already legal in Colorado?
Yes, sort of. Voters approved Amendment 64 in December 2012, which made it legal for anyone over the age of 21 to use or possess up to an ounce of marijuana for any purpose.
Well then what's happening today?
January 1, 2014 is the first day that marijuana can be sold in specially licensed stores to anyone over 21.
How much pot can a person buy?
A Colorado resident (who is at least 21 years old) can buy up to an ounce of the substance at a time. Non-residents can purchase up to a quarter-ounce, but it's illegal to take it across state lines.
Sounds like a potential business idea. Can people sell it?
Adults can give away up to an ounce of the drug to people 21 and over, but can't sell it without a license.
Are people just going to be lighting up all over the streets of Colorado today?
Nope. It is still illegal to consume marijuana openly or publicly. This retail marijuana is intended for private, personal use in locations not open to the public. Like your house.
You can't consume it in or around the licensed store, bars, restaurants, public transportation or in cars, limos and taxis. It's up to hotels to decide if it can be consumed in their smoking rooms.
Can people have it in their cars?
Yes, but not in an open container and it can't go across state lines. Marijuana can't be consumed in the car.
Is there such a thing as a marijuana DUI?
Yep. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Anyone with 5 nanograms or more in their blood while driving can be arrested for a DUI, which could result in a fine, jail or prison time. (Those are the same possible consequences for breaking any of these rules.)