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6 Places You Can’t Smoke Pot—No Matter What You’ve Heard

That cheeky “holiday” that gives new meaning to the nickname “Mile High City” is finally here! With recreational marijuana now legal in Colorado, this year’s 4/20 festivities promise to be nothing short of epic. As your friendly Denver defense lawyers, however, we thought it wise to issue a reminder that while pot itself might be legal, using it in public is still absolutely forbidden by law.

Regardless of what you might have heard, law enforcement authorities will be cracking down on those smoking/vaporizing/ingesting weed openly this year. So unless you have $1,000 to spare and no need for government benefits–ever, we highly suggest you refrain from taking up in any of the following places:

1. Hotel Rooms

This presents a problem for the thousands of pot tourists expected to arrive in Colorado this weekend, but most hotels ban the drug from their premises even if you do manage to secure one of those rare smoking rooms or, better yet, score your own balcony. Out-of-towners will have to Couch surf with like-minded hosts or get on the waiting list at Denver's first "Bud and Breakfast" instead.

2. Bars or Restaurants

If the lack of canals didn't give it away, Denver isn't Amsterdam, and as such, we don't have any of those famed coffee shops in which to spend an afternoon. Marijuana is off-limits in all of Denver's bars, cafes, and restaurants, so you'll have to order take-out if you're interested in sampling the Pakalolo Shrimp on Hapa Sushi's marijuana-pairing menu.

3. Private Jets

It should be obvious by now that Justin Bieber is not the example to follow in life. All those friendly skies technically belong to the federal government, which isn't friendly at all when it comes to marijuana. Furthermore, pot is explicitly banned at all of Colorado's airports—even if you're there just to pick up a friend.

4. Vehicles

Dude, open container laws apply to marijuana as well–although if this CNN reporter's experience is anything to go by, some private limousine companies may legally allow their passengers to enjoy their purchases in the backseat.

5. Parks

Organizers of the 420 Rally at Civic Center Park are formally discouraging attendees from partaking in marijuana at the event, but if that's not deterrence enough, both Denver and Boulder issue fines of up to $1,000 for smoking pot in parks or on sidewalks. Oh, and this includes the broad scope of national parks and forests, city parks, and national monuments—pretty much anywhere green (ironically).

6. Ski Slopes

The federal government actually rents our beautiful mountains back to Colorado's ski resorts, so marijuana won't be tolerated on the slopes either—and while we're at it, there's a very heavy fine just for getting on a chairlift stoned.

While support for legalized marijuana is growing, 63 percent of Americans claim smoking in public still bothers them. That means you’ll just have to enjoy your stash from the comfort of your own backyard for the moment—or buy a ticket to Amsterdam if you’d prefer a more social vibe.


As Colorado gears up for the exuberant 4/20 celebrations in the era of legalized recreational marijuana, it’s essential to recognize the limitations imposed by existing laws. While the Mile High City may seem like a cannabis enthusiast’s paradise, the reminder from Denver defense lawyers about the prohibition of public marijuana use is a crucial one. Despite the statewide legalization, strict regulations still apply, and law enforcement is poised to enforce them, particularly against those openly using marijuana in prohibited spaces such as hotels, bars, private jets, vehicles, parks, and even ski slopes.

As the public perception of marijuana continues to evolve, it is evident that societal norms and legal frameworks are adapting at different paces. The cautionary note serves as a timely reminder that while progress has been made, public sentiment and legal restrictions regarding marijuana use persist. Whether celebrating within the confines of private spaces or advocating for broader social acceptance, individuals are urged to navigate the evolving landscape of marijuana legalization with awareness and responsibility, respecting the current boundaries set by law and societal expectations.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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