In any case, despite my teenage son’s claims that pot would soon be legal in Colorado (he got his information from the school newspaper), I didn’t think it would happen.
When the referendum passed, the first thing I thought of was skiing. What impact would the new law have on skiing?
Immediately, my mind shot to the worst-case scenario, which in my world, involved middle-aged skiers from points east and west descending on Colorado to get high and ski, in that order.
I pictured pot-powered gapers flying out of control down the ski slopes, endangering all those around them, especially children. I pictured Reefer Madness on the National Forest.
The social media reaction to the new law didn’t help.
“DUDE! Can’t wait to go to Aspendam this winter!” tweeted one person. “Ski vacation will be more epic than ever with new pot laws!” tweeted another.
I don’t know these people, but even among my friends on Facebook, the reaction ran pretty much like this:
“Colorado really is the Mile High State! Can anyone buy pot there? Can’t wait to ski!”
What’s a mom, however brave, to do?
I Am a Mother Of Teenagers
Now depending upon your situation in life, your reaction may be similar to mine or completely different. So, please, before you leave me an exasperated comment or call me a buzz kill, remember, I am a mother of teenagers.
My job is to keep them safe and their brains intact, at least until they get to college. But I also remember being the mother of little ones. Then, my job was to keep them safe and their brains intact (although the threats were different), at least until they get to college.
If asked to explain my position on marijuana legalization (you did ask, didn’t you?), it would be thus:
Yes, legalization makes some sense, but only if done on a national level. Otherwise, we risk creating places (like Amsterdam) where amateurs come to party.
And yes, I also know that there are plenty of people who already ski and ride while impaired. I was just afraid that the new law would bring more of them.
That’s my position. Here’s my state’s position.
The New Colorado Pot Laws
- Beginning around January 1, 2014, marijuana will be sold in specially licensed shops.
- The amount out-of-state visitors can purchase is significantly less than what residents can purchase.
- Voters will choose in November whether to impose taxes on marijuana. A portion of the taxes will pay for school construction.
- You cannot smoke pot in public. Amsterdam-type coffee shops, collectives, and smoking in bars and stores are banned.
- Drivers are subject to a stoned-driving limit. Anything above the limit means the driver is too high to drive and will be prosecuted.
In the end, I really don’t think the new laws are going to change much, as least with regard to skiing and snowboarding.
Marijuana remains illegal on federal lands, which includes most ski areas, campgrounds, national parks, and BLM mountain biking trails. It remains illegal to smoke pot on a chairlift, although that has never been much of a deterrent, has it?
And, since it is illegal to smoke in public, any fears I had of “coffee shops” replacing my favorite mountain town restaurants can be put to rest.
So, skiing families, take heart! You don’t have to avoid Colorado out of fears for your safety or fears of contaminating your children’s minds (and lungs).
Yes, I overreacted. But then, that’s my job, as a mom.
What do you think? As a parent, do you think these new laws will have an impact on your child’s safety while skiing or snowboarding?
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