DENVER -- Marijuana tourism is on the way to Colorado, under a recommendation made Tuesday by a state task force to regulate the drug made legal by voters last year.
But Colorado should erect signs in airports and borders telling visitors they can't take pot home, the task force recommended.
Colorado's marijuana task force was assembled to suggest regulations for pot after voters chose to flout federal drug law and allow its use without a doctor's recommendation. Made up of lawmakers, law enforcement authorities and marijuana activists, the task force agreed Tuesday that the constitutional amendment on marijuana simply says that adults over 21 can use the drug, not just Colorado residents. If lawmakers agree with the recommendation, tourists would be free to buy and smoke marijuana.
"Imposing a residency requirement would almost certainly create a black market for recreational marijuana in the state,'' said Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat who sits on the task force.
Tourists could see purchasing caps though, possibly as low as an eighth of an ounce per transaction.
Afraid that marijuana tourism could open the door for traffickers to load up and take it across state borders for illegal sale, task force members agreed that non-residents should be able to buy only limited amounts, though a specific amount wasn't set.
"Marijuana purchased in Colorado must stay in Colorado,'' Pabon warned.
"We could attract greater federal scrutiny and displeasure of our neighbors,'' if marijuana flows across state lines, he said.
Task force members were less successful agreeing to recommendations on marijuana growing and public use. Colorado's marijuana law allows home growing but requires plants to be in a locked, secure location out of public view. The task force couldn't agree whether a "locked'' and "secure'' location would mean a backyard surrounded by a fence, or whether an enclosure such as a shed or greenhouse should be mandatory.
One of the task force's most vocal marijuana critics, Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson, worried that backyard pot gardens would need more than a chain-link fence to keep kids out.