Five Things Arizonans Should Know About Colorado Marijuana Stores Opening Wednesday
1). Don't bring legal Colorado marijuana back to Arizona.
However, that rule may or may not apply to legal Arizona medical-marijuana users.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety tells us this morning that M-Day, as it might be called, isn't on the agency's radar. DPS officers apparently won't be hunting specifically for happy-go-lucky stoners driving back from Telluride with small amounts of marijuana -- but state troopers always look for drug smugglers, in general, and they might have drug-sniffing dogs.
Without a medical-use authorization, possession of any amount of marijuana in Arizona is still a felony. Prosecutors can charge the case as a misdemeanor, but you'll probably be taken to jail after the traffic stop.
Navajo Nation police did not return a call for comment.
Arizona medicinal-marijuana users can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time, and there's no restriction on where it comes from. In other words, it seems like medical-card holders ought to be able to come back to Arizona with some of that legal Colorado weed still in their pockets.
But you know we're not lawyers, right? So don't come crying to us if you still end up in trouble.
After all, pot's still against federal law, and crossing state lines with something that's illegal under federal law could be charged by the feds. We just read a court case this morning about a couple of guys target-shooting in the Coronado National Forest who got stopped by a ranger and searched by a drug-sniffing dog. After a half-smoked joint was found, its owner was taken to jail, where he served several days before a conviction in federal court and a sentence of time served.
There's also the question of how you'd get the marijuana back to Arizona. If you take a bud or two through the airport, you might get popped by a body scanner. And if you drive back to Arizona after using marijuana legally in Colorado, you still are subject to a possible marijuana-DUI just for having THC or its metabolites in your blood.
Colorado will make history on Wednesday, and no one can blame you for being curious.
Just take care not to foul up your personal history with a marijuana faux-pas.