One point of debate for Colorado’s Amendment 64 task force was whether legal pot shops would be limited solely to Colorado residents. On Tuesday, the task force recommended that the legal marijuana shops, and the ability to smoke marijuana legally, be open to anyone in the state, not just residents.
After looking closely at the language of the constitutional amendment, the task force agreed that it says adults over the age of 21 may possess and smoke marijuana. The amendment contains no language about legal marijuana being for Colorado residents only.
Despite this ruling, visitors may not be able to legally buy as much marijuana as Colorado residents would. The task force is considering a limit of an eighth per transaction for non-Coloradoans so that out of state visitors cannot easily load up on large quantities of marijuana and smuggle it back to their home state where marijuana is illegal.
“Imposing a residency requirement would almost certainly create a black market for recreational marijuana in the state,” said Representative Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat who sits on the task force.
However, “Marijuana purchased in Colorado must stay in Colorado,” he explained. “We could attract greater federal scrutiny and displeasure of our neighbors” if marijuana were to be trafficked across state lines.
The task force also recommended that the state post signs in airports and at state borders warning people that it is illegal to take the marijuana out of the state.
The task force has until Feb. 28 to recommend marijuana regulations, which will ultimately be set by the state Legislature and the Department of Revenue, the agency which oversees gambling and alcohol and will also regulate recreational pot.