Buying Marijuana in Colorado for Nonresidents
Saturday, December 9th, 2017
I sold marijuana to a man who showed me a license from Alabama when I asked for his I.D., and after I handed him his order, he just stood there and stared at the bag in his hands. The moment stretched on, seeming stranger by the second, so I asked if everything was okay.
“No,” he said, “It is not… I’m standing here holding this while my cousin is in prison back home for doing the exact same thing.”
His expression was complex, troubled. I’m sure he knew it was an injustice—the fact that people get locked up in brick boxes just for possessing a plant—before coming into our dispensary, but as he stood there holding legal marijuana, I think he felt it for the first time. And his face showed it. He wore this mashup look of frustration and indignation and profound confusion, and every single emotion he felt was justified: right now, there’re plenty of people in this country sentenced to life in prison for marijuana possession, and that’s a hard thing to wrap your head around when you’re standing in a marijuana store. Know what I mean? We all know there’s nothing wrong with pot, and we all know there are still places in this country that haven’t figured it out, but none of us really knows it until we’re connected. We never feel the deep depravity of the injustice until we have two personal things to compare, like a bag of pot in our hands juxtaposed against a cousin back home who won’t get out for another decade or two, just for holding some weed.
Anyway, the man and I talked about it for a while, I told him that I understood the way he felt, and then he turned to leave, still shaking his head dumbfoundedly as he walked through the door. But I kept thinking about the encounter long after the man left, and doing so helped me realize exactly how much I love Colorado. And no, I don’t love this place just because of the sensible marijuana laws, but rather, I love it because it’s the type of place that can have those laws in the first place. Get it? Our marijuana laws are just a symptom of how tolerant we are, how openminded—we’re not cool because we have legal weed, we have legal weed because we’re cool. It’s an important distinction to make, and frankly, it’s why so many tourists cross our border every year. In fact, we’ve broken our tourism record every year for the last five years, and now, nearly eighty-million people come to this state every year just to see how awesome it is, and they spend around nineteen-billion dollars along the way. We have wonderful people and wonderful scenery; we have wonderful weed and plenty of 420 friendly places where you can enjoy it. Do you think the man from Alabama could say the same thing about his home state? Well, that’s why he wore that look.
We have a large map on the wall in our dispensary, and when customers from out-of-state come in, they usually walk over to it, find the little dot they call home, and stick in a pin from the little box we keep stocked on the table right below. After three years, that map looks like a pincushion, and each one of the pins sticking here or there is like a testimony against illegal weed—if that map were a voodoo doll representing marijuana criminalization, it’d be dead by now, and weed would be legal everywhere. But it isn’t, and every day I work, I meet at least four people from out-of-state who’ve never shopped in a dispensary. After all, The Greenery is the closest dispensary to New Mexico, and we’re the closest dispensary to the Durango airport, so we’re usually the first stop for tourists who come in for a weekend spent where marijuana laws are reasonable. And these tourists usually ask the same question before shopping: “Um, I’m from out-of-state. Is it okay for me to buy marijuana?” Of course, I always say, “YES!” a little too emphatically, and then I tell them all the stuff I’m about to tell you…
It’s perfectly legal for nonresidents to buy marijuana in Colorado so long as they’re twenty-one years of age or older, and so long as they have a valid and acceptable form of identification. Driver’s licenses from all fifty states work, as do passports. Once upon a time, people from out-of-state weren’t allowed to purchase as much marijuana as Colorado residents, but that restriction is long-gone (once again, because Colorado is sensible). Nonresidents are allowed to buy up to one ounce of flower in a single purchase, but that’s not something you’ll need to worry about because we’ll never sell you in a single transaction more than you’re allowed to have on your person, because at The Greenery, we follow the Colorado marijuana laws down to the letter. Other than that, all you need to know is that marijuana can only be consumed on private property with the property owner’s permission, and it’s illegal to transport any marijuana products across state lines. Pretty straightforward, right?
But again, sometimes things like this don’t click until you’re standing there, holding something tangible, so please, if you have any questions after reading this, just give us a call at (970) 403-3710, or come in and talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders. The Greenery is located at 208 Parker Avenue, Durango, Colorado 81303. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about marijuana, regardless of where you’re from, because We’re Your Best Buds!