Christmas came a little early for many people in Larimer County after Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday signed off on a new constitutional amendment legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado.
“I’ve already been celebrating for the past few days,” said Katie Walker, a manager at the pot-themed Cheba Hut sub shop in Fort Collins. The sub shop near Colorado State University bears marijuana art on its walls, and the sandwiches are named after pot strains.
Walker said some customers have half-jokingly asked if the store will start selling pot brownies now and whether they can toke up on the outside patio.
“I think a lot of people are wondering how legal it is,” Walker said, after joking with a customer about how they’re now law-abiding citizens.
District Attorney Larry Abrahamson on Monday alerted local law enforcement agencies of the change in law. He said officers will no longer ticket adults for simple possession, as long as the amount they have is less than an ounce.
“At this point in time, obviously they aren’t going to be writing any tickets because it’s no longer a violation of the law,” Abrahamson said.
Less clear is what will happen to people who received possession tickets in the past few weeks . Abrahamson said they will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. He said anyone who received a ticket still needs to show up for court.
“We can’t just automatically just tell people to ignore the court’s order,” he said. “We’ll take a look at each one as it comes in.”
Abrahamson, who is serving on a statewide committee examining how to implement the rest of Amendment 64, said many questions remain. While the law now allows people to possess or smoke pot, the state must still set up a system allowing people to legally buy and sell it.
“It’s legal, but we don’t know to what extent or how it’s going to be enforced,” Abrahamson said. “I would still caution people not to get too excited until all the rules and regulations are in place.”
But try telling that to people who work in the industry on the marijuana fringes. At the music-and-glassware shop Rock N Robin on College Avenue, worker Daniel Gavilon hadn’t heard about the governor’s signature until told by a reporter.
“That’s like an awesome Christmas present,” Gavilon said.
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