Colorado residents can buy more than visitors.
DENVER — Recreational marijuana sales will be legal in Colorado starting Wednesday.
Amendment 64, a Colorado constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2012, threw the doors wide open by requiring state officials to regulate pot like alcohol. Washington state voters approved a similar initiative the same year but that state does not yet have retail sales to the public.
Here's what you need to know about pot sales as a resident or visitor.
Question: Who can buy marijuana under Colorado law?
Answer: Colorado residents 21 and older can buy 1 ounce of weed. Out-of-state residents can purchase only a quarter of an ounce.
Q. Where can you buy marijuana?
A. So far nine municipalities and seven counties are allowing retail sales. Denver is among them.
The city has issued 34 retail marijuana business licenses; statewide, the number is 136 with most in the Denver area. But most of those with state permits won't be open immediately because of local licensing requirements.
The state has more than 500 medical marijuana dispensaries that require a doctor's clearance before patients can purchase pot. Only a fraction applied to sell to retail customers, a change that requires them to either ban customers younger than 21 or keep separate inventories — and entrances — for under-21 patients and adult recreational users.
Q. How much will pot cost?
A. The system will be regulated, taxed and distributed similarly to alcohol.
Q. Is the personal sale of marijuana under the new law legal?
A. Selling marijuana in any form without a license remains illegal. An adult 21 and older is allowed to sell marijuana only with the appropriate license to people 21 and older.
Sharing is allowed as long as it's less than an ounce and no money exchanges hands.
Q. Where can you use marijuana?
A. Amendment 64 does not permit the consumption of marijuana openly and publicly. It must be done at home. Under the law an adult can consume marijuana on private property unless a property owner prohibits it.
Employers can restrict employees' marijuana use.
Denver International Airport has posted signs letting travelers know it's illegal to use, carry or transport pot at the airport. A civil penalty from the airport could cost up to $1,000 and law enforcement would decide on criminal charges.
Q. Can you consume marijuana at social clubs and coffee shops?
A. No, these businesses are not permitted.
Q. Can you use marijuana at ski resorts?
A. No, people who smoke in lift lines or on the slopes will be prosecuted. Forest Service officials say the citation costs a minimum of $250.
Q. What are the marijuana DUI Laws?
A. Driving under the influence of marijuana will remain illegal. A vehicle operator also is not allowed to smoke while driving.
Anyone with whose test results show five nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, per milliliter of whole blood while driving can be arrested for DUI.
The blood test is designed to tell how high a person is at the moment, not whether they have been using pot in the past several days or weeks, like urine tests that some employers use.
The blood test measures active THC in the blood stream while the urine tests measure a metabolite of THC, the form it takes after being broken down by the body.
Colorado law allows drivers to refuse the blood test. However, that comes with harsher penalties than a DUI.
Q. Can you have marijuana in your car?
A. Yes, it may be carried but not in an open container, and it cannot cross state borders. It is illegal to use it in your car.
Q. Does Amendment 64 change existing medical marijuana rules?
A. The amendment does not change existing Colorado regulations for medical marijuana.
Q. What are the consequences if you violate the marijuana law?
A. Anything from a fine to jail or a prison sentence depending on the violation. School, universities and employers are allowed to put their own disciplinary actions into place.
Source: Colorado state government