Dear Stoner: Given the concern about diversion of cannabis out of state, will simply having Colorado license plates be probable cause for a traffic stop by police in the states surrounding Colorado?
The Bud Bandit
Dear Bud: Have you ever met anyone from Amsterdam? You can imagine the question they're asked most often — and I can assure you it's not about tulips, canals or van Gogh. That's what having Colorado plates (or a Colorado ID) screams to the rest of the world right now: MARIJUANA!
Legally, the cops can't profile you and use Colorado plates, a scruffy beard or the vague assumption that you're a stoner as reason to pull you over. But going under or over the speed limit by one or two miles per hour, drifting normally within your lane or even tailing someone too closely could be — and cops in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming have made it clear that they are making sure to sniff around vehicles, ask questions and start searches once they've got you. If you decide to drive hot, our best advice is to follow every other law carefully. Also, a cop once told us that cars with stickers on them catch their eyes, as do rolled-down windows and people wearing hats. Don't ask us why — we're just passing on the intel.
Ask a Stoner
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Dear Stoner: How does the new law affect parents picking up their kids from daycare smelling like pot or obviously high? Can the daycare release the children to the parents?
Careful Green-Friendly Mommy
Dear Careful: We'll assume you're not driving when you pick up your kids, because you're, well, careful. And that's good. But no one who smells like pot or is obviously high should be picking up a kid at daycare. And not just because it's poor stoner form: It could put you in a legal situation that no parent wants to be in.
The new pot laws have no protections written into them for parents, and as many activists have pointed out, child-protective services can still legally deem marijuana use and cultivation as a reason to remove children from their homes. Daycares and schools are obligated to report suspected abuse, so all it takes is one anti-cannabis nanny to make a phone call. While a daycare center might not be able to forcibly hold your child, it could easily call people who can. We don't think that's right, and we hope that as attitudes change, the courts will stop following up on those charges — but for now, it's best to keep your bloodshot eyes and skunky perfume to yourself.