In a post about the first meeting of the Denver City Council's recreational marijuana committee, chairman Charlie Brown shared anecdotes he's heard about public pot smoking at ski areas since Amendment 64. But a spokeswoman for Colorado's ski industry says resorts have had virtually no problems with visitors who don't understand what A64 does and doesn't allow.
Earlier today, Brown, an opponent of Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over to possess and use small amounts of marijuana but forbids public consumption, shared his concerns about the measure's possible impact on the state's reputation.
"I've been hearing reports from the ski industry, for example, that you can smell marijuana on the ski lifts, which is frankly against the law," he told us. "That brings up the question of enforcement, and what we can do to negate the image of skiing stoned in Colorado. I don't think that's an image we want for this industry or for this state."
Jennifer Rudolph, spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA, an industry group that represents 21 Colorado ski resorts, including Aspen Mountain, Crested Butte, Winter Park and Snowmass, tells a very different story. She notes that "as far as CSCUSA is aware, none of our resorts have had to deal with guests who are confused about Amendment 64."
Have resort managers and personnel been surprised at the absence of few weed-related difficulties?
"There were more questions than concerns when the amendment first passed," Rudolph says. "But Colorado has had legalized marijuana" -- of the medical variety -- "for years, with no discernible detriment to the resorts' guests. So it wasn't a complete unknown."
Rudolph attributes the lack of pot problems to "the fact that public use of marijuana is prohibited, and users should know that." As such, "resorts haven't seen any people going against that law, and they have policies in place that encourage people to obey the law. And they've had those policies before Amendment 64 passed."
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Even so, Rudolph says resorts are "seeking clarity" about Amendment 64 in a broader sense. "They're prepared in case they need to enforce any sort of regulations and rules," she maintains, "but it would be good if clarity came sooner than later."
Just like more snow.
More from our Sports archive circa 2009: "Marijuana is still illegal at Breckenridge Ski Resort, dudes."