Colorado marijuana legalization Q-and-A

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The passage and governor’s proclamation of Amendment 64 on Monday, which makes Colorado one of the first two states to legalize limited possession and sales of marijuana, has prompted a flood of questions about what happens next. Here are some answers:

Q: Is pot really legal?

A: Yes. But also no. It now is not against state law for people 21 and older in Colorado to use marijuana, to possess as much as 1 ounce of marijuana and to grow as many as six marijuana plants — only three of which can be flowering, or ready for harvest, at any time. It also is legal for one adult to give marijuana to another adult. But legal, recreational marijuana sales can occur only through licensed pot shops, which have yet to open.

The federal government, meanwhile, considers all marijuana possession, cultivation and distribution a crime, no matter what state law says.

Q: Do I need a license or a registration to possess marijuana?

A: No.

Q: If a local police officer catches me with, say, half an ounce, they won’t arrest or ticket me?

A: Not for marijuana possession they won’t.

Q: What about 2 ounces?

A: Still illegal unless you’re a medical marijuana patient.

Q: What about a pipe or a bong?

A: The amendment says “possessing, using, displaying, purchasing or transporting marijuana accessories” is not a crime.

Q: Can I smoke wherever I want?

A: No. You can’t smoke at schools or on school grounds, including colleges and universities. You can’t smoke in privately owned buildings where the owner doesn’t want you to — that includes dorms, apartment buildings or other rental properties where the landlord says pot is not allowed. You can’t even possess marijuana in federal office buildings, courthouses, national parks or national forests. You can’t smoke outdoors in public parks or on the sidewalk. About the only place it is 100 percent clear you can smoke marijuana is in a free-standing home that you own.

Read more of the Q-and-A at DenverPost.com.

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