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Ask a Stoner: What If I Get Busted Toking in Public?

Dear Stoner: I know it's not legal to puff out in front of a restaurant or whatever, but what happens if I get busted smoking weed in public? Is it really that bad?
Pete B. Puffin

Dear Pete: We don't think it's that bad, and we regularly bend the rules ourselves — though we usually tuck back in an alleyway, walk around the parking lot or at least make sure we're not wafting ganja smoke over an outdoor patio full of diners (or cops). But like you, we know we're taking a risk. In the city of Denver, public consumption carries a civil penalty, and you won't get arrested — unless you get belligerent and ignore the cop's warning, as pot attorney Rob Corry learned at a 2013 Rockies game. The first time you get caught puffing in public or even displaying less than an ounce, it'll be a $150 fine. The second time you get caught, it's a $500 fine. And if you get caught more than that, you're just not doing things right (and you'll be facing a $999 fine, to boot). Kids under eighteen won't face any time in juvie if they're caught with pot, though the judge can require treatment in lieu of fines. At the state level, adults eighteen and up caught consuming cannabis face a $100 fine and 24 hours of community service. Oh, and being a medical cannabis patient isn't going to help you. In fact, if you're busted using pot in public and try to use your med card as an excuse, the state can take away your pot-patient status. And cops are writing tickets, too — 668 in the first nine months of 2014. Just be smart and don't become that statistic. We suggest getting a vape pen to help with the stealth. (Elevatedpens.com stocks our current favorite.)

Dear Stoner: Why do I get cottonmouth?
Desert-Mouth Don

Info

Ask a Stoner

Dear Don: The answer is simple: You smoke cannabis, and the THC in the smoke reacts with the glands in your mouth that produce saliva. Basically, the nerve receptors in saliva are cannabinoid receptors that react to your body's natural endocannabinoids system. Cottonmouth occurs because the overloaded submandibular gland can't get the message from your body to make saliva and so shuts down. The reaction also happens in the brain, which is why good edibles can make your mouth as dry as the Great Sand Dunes in July. Our top cure is to sip a glass of ice water with a lemon wedge. Oh, and avoid pretzels at all costs: They may look appetizing, but you might as well be eating a handful of, well, cotton.

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