DenverPost.com – If you thought the big decisions about recreational marijuana in Colorado were behind us when voters legalized it last year and lawmakers set up a retail sales framework, think again.
Colorado is fast approaching a public policy crossroads over the issue of marijuana consumption.
The constitutional amendment allowing recreational weed said the measure shouldn’t be construed as permitting marijuana to be consumed “openly and publicly.”
As it turns out, that’s just the beginning of the conversation.
Differing opinions about the propriety of visible pot consumption, punishments for the smell infringing on a neighbor and the intent of new law itself are on a collision course.
There’s also the issue of defining an “open container” of marijuana in a motor vehicle. With booze, it’s a simple matter: If the seal is broken, generally speaking you’re in trouble with the law if you’re pulled over. But when is marijuana kept in a plastic bag an “open container”?
It’s important for Colorado policymakers to get these issues right, and not recriminalize small-time, recreational marijuana use or possession, or push into secrecy something voters supported.
It’s also crucial that police have policy guidance on how to enforce the law