Know before you go: new marijuana regulations in Breck
Breckenridge is known worldwide for the welcoming character of its residents, the signature aspects of the ski resort, and its historic town. Millions of visitors flock to Breck from around the globe each year, and feel part of Breck Nation — arriving as visitors but always leaving as locals.
Many visitors, however, might be confused about the new legislation in the state of Colorado surrounding the possession and usage of marijuana, which has recently made national news.
There have been lots of questions about what this means specifically for visitors to Colorado and Breckenridge, so we thought we’d put together this guide to help clarify what this truly means to those visiting Breck.
- In November of 2012, Coloradans voted to pass Amendment 64, a measure that amended our state constitution to legalize possession of marijuana.
What Amendment 64 legalized is the retail sale of marijuana at licensed retail operations. Marijuana will officially be available for purchase at retail outlets starting January 1, 2014. Breckenridge has recently ruled that marijuana retail establishments will not be permitted on Main Street or in the center of town, but will be allowed in adjacent areas, such as on Airport Road.
- The new amendment also means people 21 years and older can legally possess, purchase, display and/or transport up to an ounce of pot at a time.
- Most importantly, The amendment specifically bans public consumption of the drug. Smoking of marijuana is only allowed in private locations, providing it is not prohibited by the property owner (smoking of any kind is almost always prohibited in Breck hotels, condos, private homes, B&Bs and other lodging properties).
Consuming marijuana in public places in Breckenridge remains illegal, as it was before the passage of the amendment. Public places include any indoor or outdoor place open to the general public, from Main Street to Carter Park to the Blue River Plaza, to any other playground, public way, parking lot (including in vehicles in public areas), business, store, restaurant, hotel or any other area that can be accessed by the public.
- Also included in the list of public places where marijuana remains prohibited is Breckenridge Ski Resort. The entire resort is considered public space; from the chairlifts, to the ski runs, to parking lots, to lift maze lines, to gondolas, to hotel rooms, to bars and restaurants — in reality, anywhere that is part of the resort is off-limits.
- Additionally, much of the ski resort lies on federal US Forest Service land, where both possession and consumption of marijuana are still illegal, making it a double infraction to partake in any sort of pot use at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
So how does this change anything?
Essentially, it means that nothing has changed. Marijuana use is still illegal in public, and violators of the law at the ski resort can find themselves with their lift tickets or season passes being revoked, removal from the resort, and/or possible fines from the police department.
For those looking to take advantage of the passage of Amendment 64, the only place to do so is in a private home or residence, and then only with the consent of the property owner.
In Breck, the ski resort is working hand in hand with the Town of Breckenridge, the Breck Resort Chamber, the Breck Police Department and other community leaders to inform both residents and guests alike of the new regulations around marijuana. Further information about marijuana use in Breck can be obtained by contacting the Breckenridge Police Department at 970.453.2941.
It’s important to educate oneself before travelling to any destination, as equipping yourself with the right information will lead to being able to enjoy your vacation that much more! Know before you go…….and play it safe, play all season!
— Gary Shimanowitz
Director of Mountain Operations