Well for starters you don’t have to speak in code or hushed tones in a back room… you can ask anyone you want, right out loud “Where is the nearest MARIJUANA SHOP?” and the worst that can happen is you get a dirty look, because you cannot be arrested for asking about it, buying it, having it, or smoking it... IT is legal* here.
So what is the deal with Marijuana in Cortez? First you have to be 21 years old with a valid ID, second you better have cash (because Credit Card acceptance is spotty), third you go to a store and buy it.
And you don't have to ask a waiter where to go, because I have the list right here.
The Cortez Area Recreational Shops are;
Durango Organics 1104 E Main St
The Beacon 1704 E Main St
The Medicine Man 310 E Main St
The Herbal Alternative 1531 Lebanon Road
Click on links to be directed to store websites, I could only get it on a few letters for some reason, but the links are there.
… all have similar pricing and products, and I will be reviewing each store individually in future posts with details on example strains, hours, prices, and quantity limits.
Pot is unbelievably strong in Colorado, so go easy until you get used to it, and enjoy the freedom!*
Please don't let the fine print below scare you too much, but for those who want to know the worst that could happen, and how the details of the law kind of "work", read on.
*Now, the fine print. Marijuana use/possession is against Federal Law, everywhere. Still. Consumption in Colorado will not exempt you from results of a drug test back home (or in Colorado for that matter, you can loose your job for testing hot). You must be 21 years old, and have proper ID. You cannot consume it: in the marijuana store, in front of minors, in public, on city, county, state, or federal property, in a car, where the private property owner forbids it, or in front of someone who is annoyed by it. Like everywhere else you must use discretion when smoking.
People who are not Colorado residents may have up to one ounce in their possession, and may purchase up to seven grams (a quarter) per transaction.
You cannot POSSESS it on FEDERAL LAND… this means 2/3 of Montezuma County is off limits for Marijuana including BLM land, Ute Mountain Reservation including casino and hotel, National Forest, and Mesa Verde National Park... You cannot even legally have it in your car in these places. And yes, rangers sometimes have drug dogs and they use night vision goggles in campgrounds to catch users smoking, which results in Federal Charges.
You are not allowed to leave the State of Colorado with it, you are not allowed to take it on an airplane, or any bus licensed to cross state lines (city busses ok, Greyhound, Grey-line are not), you may not mail it home, or ship it at all. (FedEx, UPS, USPS all reserve the right to open and inspect all packages and use dogs in all central shipping hubs) and packing it in coffee (or anything) doesn't fool dogs. Shipping it is stupid, and you WILL get caught and face Federal Charges.
You are not allowed to consume Marijuana and operate a motor vehicle within three hours of consumption, it is possible to get a DUI for doing so. Montezuma County has regular DUI checkpoints.
You may only purchase Marijuana directly from a licensed Recreational Marijuana store, second hand purchase is illegal (grey market), and purchase from unlicensed street dealer (for example a donation to a “church” in exchange for marijuana) is (black market) (and) illegal.
Marijuana is poisonous to DOGS... Keep marijuana away from pets and children. If your dog ingests Marijuana seek the help of a vet immediately. NEVER blow smoke in a dog or cat's face. If your pet ingests Marijuana the user may be subject to animal cruelty charges. If a child ingests Marijuana the parents are subject to abuse charges, and will be subject to additional charges if they fail to seek medical help for said child.
Neighboring states are known to put up surprise "checkpoints" (a sign that says "drug checkpoint ahead", there isn't one, but when you pull an illegal u-turn on the interstate they get you), or pull over cars leaving Colorado for ridiculous reasons in order to search (exceeding the speed limit by 1mph).
If you are pulled over ALWAYS refuse to be searched, and never answer any questions without an attorney present.
Your Marijuana taxes go to Colorado Schools... Ironic, isn't it? And by ironic I mean all of it, not just the last bit.
I may have just taken all the fun out of it for you, and made you paranoid as hell, but there you have the inside scoop, as it exists now... maybe someday the laws will make more sense.