Dear Stoner: Am I allowed to smoke hemp in public, or is it treated like smoking marijuana?
Dear Bree: According to the Denver City Attorney’s Office, this question has been popping up around town as hemp laws loosen and CBD’s popularity grows. Although smoking hemp in public isn’t illegal, there’s no field test to differentiate hemp and marijuana. “Generally, if an officer has probable cause to believe someone is publicly consuming marijuana, he or she could ticket that individual on those grounds,” the city attorney’s office explains in a statement. “At this point, there isn’t a field test that could be deployed to determine, on the fly, whether or not the substance is hemp or marijuana. Officers and prosecutors have to enforce public consumption of marijuana laws nonetheless — they can’t pick and choose.”
So while it might be legal to smoke hemp in public, good luck explaining that to a cop — and even if you could prove it’s hemp, you still have to adhere to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans smoking in indoor public areas. Even cannabis attorney Warren Edson, who strongly believes that smoking hemp is legally the same as smoking tobacco, admits that “you’ll probably get hassled by the police, and they probably won’t even test the product until you get to trial.” That’s a lot of work to fight a $100 citation.
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