Legalized states have seen some serious rises in their population year round. From new residents to packed tourism calendars for every seasons, the numbers seem to just keep rising. The same is a very big reality for Colorado whose residents voted to legalize weed in 2012. So if you’re playing a trip to Colorado to enjoy the green life, here are the top Eight things you should know before you toke:
#1 Think About Secondhand Smoke, BEFORE You Toke: The Marijuana Enforcement Division, or MED, is the leading committee that oversees legalized cannabis for the state of Colorado. They warn that secondhand cannabis smoke “contains many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco smoke” and emphasize that you should not consume around children, the ill, and of course those who do not want to be around secondhand smoke. With the implementation of Denver County’s Initiative 300 this point becomes even more imortant as permits begin to be processed late this summer.
#2 Public Space and Federal Land Are Still a Big NO: While I300 works to address the issue of safe, public consumption for tourists and those who unable to consume at for any reason (ill family members, federally subsidised housing, military veterans, apartment tenants, etc) and ensure that consumption happens in a safe and responsible manner that also supports local business owners and neighborhoods alike. However, cannabis consumption in any form is still very much illegal on a federal level and in public areas such as playgrounds, beaches, public ways, National Parks and Preserves, and other specific "out of bounds" zones.
#3 What Happens In Colorado, STAYS In Colorado: Although the state has legalized cannabis consumption for adults over 21, it’s (one more time for the people in the back) FEDERALLY ILLEGAL, so even though you maybe a patient or you maybe travelling from one legalized state to another legal state, the moment you cross the Colorado borders things change from being a state issue to a federal issue and that gives the Feds jurisdiction. So, what you buy in Colorado, has to stay in Colorado.
#4 Making Hash Can Cause a Flash: This one is pretty literal, attempting to make your own extractions at home can be dangerous. Most of the solvents used during the extraction process are highly flammable liquids with potentially lethal fumes. Most, if not all, dispensaries carry a healthy variety of concentrates and extracts to meet just about any preference. So leave the chemicals to the professionals, and don’t do it at home.
#5 Prepared For How Cannabis Can Affect You: For many people, the experience is brand new, and that’s ok. There has been a prohibition for 70 years, and combined with decades of Reefer Madness, pseudo-science and mass incarceration, there are many people who actively avoided getting high. But as studies and research continue to grow, and education surrounding cannabis and legalization become more readily available many people are venturing into a dispensary for their first cannabis adventure. Keep in mind that weed can affect everyone differently, and that each strain can have different properties as well. It’s important to look at product and strain reviews as well as menu descriptions to help you find the right strain for you Don’t be shy about asking your budtender as well, they’re there to answer your questions no matter how big or small. Most love sharing their strain knowledge and take a lot of pride in matching people to their best high, so don’t hesitate to ask.
#6 Lock Your Stash Down: Colorado’s MED has strict rules about safety, especially centered around preventing minors from accessing cannabis and cannabis products. All products that contain THC must meet strict labeling and packaging standards, once you purchase a product then it becomes your responsibility to make sure that underaged people can’t use your goods. This can be ensuring that all product remains out of reach of minors and in its original child proof packaging or sealed in a container that can be locked or has child proof locks. If a minor consumes any THC product you can reach the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for assistance.
#7 Start Slow With Edibles: Edibles can be a whole different ball game as far as experiences. While more traditional ingestion methods, typically via smoking flower in for or fashion, can lead to an almost immediate high edibles work differently. Edibles can often take thirty minutes or even over an hour to take full effect depending on variables such as concentration, how long digestion takes, and even small details such as if you’ve recently eaten before your edible. The best bet with edibles is to start with a low THC dosage and small pieces, spaced out over at least thirty to forty-five minutes each. While it may be tempting to eat an entire chocolate bar or bag of gummy bears, try leaving at least half for another session.
#8 Don’t Drive High: It should go without saying, and should be a simple, basic rule. Driving while impaired whether you’re high or drunk is not the best idea. Jail time, high fines, mandated courses, the loss of your license and more are all very real consequences of driving while high in Colorado. With the rise of apps like lyft and uber, combined with Colorado’s beautiful cities and metropolitan areas, there are plenty of options to travel. Whether you use a taxi service or public transit, even walking is a wonderful option in Colorado where many areas have breathtaking mountain views. But the MED makes it very clear, driving while high is a big NO.