Is marijuana legal in Colorado?
Yes, both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in the state of Colorado. Individuals who are 18 years and older can obtain a medical marijuana card to purchase or possess products from a medical marijuana dispensary. Those without a medical card must be 21 years or older (with a valid government issued ID) to legally purchase or possess products from a recreational dispensary. Note that medical marijuana cards are for Colorado residents only.
What is the difference between medical and recreational marijuana?
In the state of Colorado, purchasing medical marijuana requires a registry card, which is only distributed to Colorado residents with an official recommendation by a doctor. This recommendation documents that the patient is suffering from a medical condition that may be helped with use of marijuana. Medical marijuana patients can receive cannabis from a primary caregiver, self-grow their own or purchase from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
Recreational marijuana is available to both residents and non-residents of Colorado, however you must be 21 years old and older with a government issued ID (i.e. a driver's license or passport) in order to purchase or possess any products. Only licensed retail marijuana stores may sell retail marijuana.
Note that customers will pay higher taxes in a recreational dispensary, thanks to a general sales tax, special retail tax and an excise tax.
How much marijuana can I buy or possess?
Any adult 21 years or older is allowed to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) in a single transaction. (Previously, out-of-state residents were restricted to only 7 grams per transaction.)
Note that you can buy a combination of flower, edibles and concentrates, but because the MED argues that some products (like concentrates) have a higher level of THC than flower, you won't be able to purchase the same amount in both forms. The 'Marijuana Equivalency' rules impact recreational sales only, but state that 1oz of flower = 8g of concentrate (shatter, wax, etc.) while 1oz of flower = 800mg of edibles.
It's important to remember that these regulations apply to sales, not possession. As per the Colorado Constitution, you are allowed to legally posses 1oz (or 28g) of THC.
Can I smoke in public in Colorado?
No, not legally. The law in Colorado restricts consumption of marijuana to private areas only, like a home or a 420-friendly location. It is illegal to smoke at indoor (yet public) spaces like bars, restaurants, etc. or on any federal land such as national parks, ski slopes, and military bases. In addition, you cannot consume cannabis in or around a licensed marijuana dispensary either. There is a lot of grey area in the law right now, so please use discretion at all times.
Can I travel with marijuana to another state or country?
No, traveling with cannabis over state lines is illegal. You can receive a DUI if you’re driving under the influence of marijuana and if you're caught with products in the car, you could face severe penalties, a revoked license, and even jail time. Anyone with 5 nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) per milliliter in whole blood while driving can be arrested for a DUI.
If you are traveling with marijuana in your car, remember to keep it in an closed container away from the driver, but note that it’s always illegal to consume marijuana in a motor vehicle.
What are the different ways cannabis can be used?
Smoking/Vaporizing: The flower of cannabis can be ground and smoked out of a pipe, water pipe, or rolled into a joint. The flower can also be used with a vaporizer, heating the marijuana to a temperature lower than its combustion level yet high enough to activate the cannabinoids; this is a good option for users who do not want to inhale smoke. The onset of the effects of smoking and vaporizing cannabis is immediate.
Edibles: Concentrated forms of cannabis can be infused into food products. Once eaten, the active ingredients metabolize in the body through the gastrointestinal system. There are dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and gmo-free edibles available. When using this form of cannabis, the onset of the effects is typically delayed and lasts longer in the body. Edibles can have varying effects on each person. It is necessary to find a milligram dosage that works best for you. It is recommended to start off with a smaller dose and increase as your tolerance permits.
Tinctures: Glycerine-based or alcohol extracted. Commonly used orally, and placed under the tongue (sublingually) or mixed with tea and ingested.
Topicals: The topical use of cannabis can provide anti-inflammatory benefits when applied locally. It is also used to relieve arthritis, as well as joint and muscle pain. This form of use does not induce psychoactive effects.
What is the difference between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid?
Sativa strains typically have a cerebral effect best suited for daytime use. Many users get energized and mentally stimulated without the sleepy effect that are more common with Indica. There are exceptions to these generic classifications.
Indica strains typically have a full body relaxation effect best suited for night-time use. Indica users will experience a relaxing body high as well as pain relief for many different ailments. There are exceptions to these generic classifications.
Hybrid strains are a blend of Indica and Sativa. Hybrids typically will have combined traits from both types. Depending on the specific strain and the Indica to Sativa percentage will determine the dominating effects. There are exceptions to these generic classifications.