Marijuana is now legal in the snowy state of Colorado. Thanks to Colorado’s amendment 64, any person over 21 years of age and older can legally posses up to one ounce of marijuana and use said marijuana in private. This law does not make it legal to smoke marijuana at ski resorts nor on chairlifts. Colorado ski resorts are split on how to regulate this new legal marijuana use.
Arapahoe Basin ski resort in Colorado says:
“Already I have kicked several people out of here and taken their ski passes for smoking [marijuana] in public. Those passes will be gone for a very long time.” - Chief Operating Officer Alen Henceroth wrote on Arapahoe Basin’s blog
Wolf Creek ski resort in Colorado says:
“Our patrol’s job is not to bird-dog everybody when they smell marijuana.” - As Wolf Creek CEO Davey Pitcher told the Denver Post:
Here’s the monkey wrench in this whole smoking-on-the-hill-in-Colorado-thing: 22 of Colorado’s 25 ski resorts are located on US Forest Service land. US Forest Service land is federal property that is governed by federal law. This means that technically, marijuana is still totally illegal at most of Colorado’s ski resorts.
Will park rangers on US Forest Service land still enforce federal marijuana laws on US Forest Service land in Colorado?
“From our standpoint, nothing has changed from last year to this year and we’re definitely going to make sure people follow federal law. It is possible people will be cited for marijuana use and possession on federal lands.” - Chris Strebig, a spokesman in the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Golden, CO
If you get busted on federal land with marijuana, you could be looking at anything from a $250 citation to a court summons to a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
The bottom line is this: just smoke weed like you’ve always done at ski resorts before when it was illegal. As long as you’re mildly covert about it, things likely haven’t changed too much out there as far as getting high on the hill is concerned.
Maybe be a little extra careful at Arapahoe Basin:
“We at Arapahoe Basin would like to see Amendment 64 work in the way Colorado voters intended it to. The law allows limited use of marijuana and does not allow consumption in public. Arapahoe Basin is a public place and marijuana use is not allowed here.” – Arapahoe Basin’s Chief Operating Officer Alen Henceroth