Marijuana enforcement at ski areas on federal land a priority, says Forest Service rep

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As we've reported, Arapahoe Basin was the first Colorado ski area to open for the 2013 ski season.

Shortly thereafter, A-Basin chief operating officer Al Henceroth wrote a blog post entitled "Marijuana." It reads:
For good or bad, Colorado is notorious for the passing of Amendment 64 legalizing limited marijuana usage. I recently saw Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly making fun of Coloradans on The Daily Show. A very important piece of the new law clearly states that marijuana usage in public is still illegal. A-Basin is a public place and you cannot smoke marijuana here.

Already I have kicked several people out of here and taken their ski passes for smoking in public. Those passes will be gone for a very long time. We will not hesitate to call the cops on this issue.

Marijuana smokers, please use your heads on this. You cannot smoke marijuana in public while at A-Basin.
Henceroth's post, and a sequel, attracted plenty of commentary, with some of those weighing in happy about his stance and others finding it over the top, even though public consumption of cannabis is prohibited in Colorado under language included in Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over to use and possess small amounts of marijuana.

A64 has no impact on federal laws that make marijuana illegal. That's important, since, according to the Summit Daily, 22 of Colorado's 25 major ski resorts are either wholly or largely located on federal land.

"There are some cases where the parking lots aren't on federal land and the ski area is," notes Chris Strebig, media officer for the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain region. "But in most cases, the entire resort is on forest service land."

As such, pot-reform action taken by voters in Colorado and Washington state has no impact at places like Arapahoe Basin.

Continue to read more about marijuana use at ski areas on federal land.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts