Cannabis Q & A: Can I smoke medical marijuana outside?

front porch

Q: I have a question that I’m having a hard time getting an answer to specifically up to date information. Is it legal for a medical patient that is a cannabis user, I guess a red card holder or purple whatever, to smoke outside of their residence without being at risk of getting a ticket or losing their card? I was told you can be a recreational cannabis user and consumed at private Social Clubs that are not in public site. How would law enforcement know the difference or would they automatically assume if you have a red card that your cannabis is medical and not recreationally bought because you should be allowed to have both, correct?

A: Technically, under Amendment 20, patients are not allowed to “engage in the medical use of marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public.” Amendment 64 doesn’t allow for marijuana consumption openly and publicly, but there have been hours and hours of discussion on exactly what that means, and they still haven’t come up with a definition.

During the A64 Task Force meetings in 2013, one of the big questions was “Can you smoke a joint on your front porch?” The consensus was that yes you can. Whether or not private social clubs are “open and public” is still open for debate and how they’re treated depends on local authorities.

Some local communities have instituted regulations that might be more strict. Whether or not they are constitutional is another question. Federally subsidized housing is generally off-limits for marijuana. Apartments and HOAs have their own rules. When it comes to rental property, it’s up to the landlord/property owner.

You should avoid disclosing that you’re a medical marijuana patient unless there’s a compelling reason. That is your private medical information. Protect it.

— Rx MaryJane (Teri Robnett)

Cannabis Patients Alliance is working hard to change hearts and minds, one conversation at a time. We can’t do it alone. We need your support! Please, DONATE NOW or BECOME AN ALLY so we can continue this important work.

Categories: Colorado, Local Communities, Patients, War on Drugs

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