With the advent of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, there certainly were many questions about the new pot protocols, both in the pot shop and out in the world.
A sampling of the questions we have received from curious readers this year: Where can a tourist smoke? Is vaping marijuana better than using a pipe? What’s with the lack of European-style hash in Colorado pot shops? Why did I get a letter from my Denver landlord that pot is still banned on the property? Are there any pumpkin-spice marijuana strains? Why are employers still drug testing for pot in Colorado?
There are many intricacies to legal marijuana, and our Ask The Cannabist guru Susan Squibb answered the above questions and many others in our regular Cannabist Q&A feature. No question is too unusual (sexy strain recommendation? Yes, really) as she tapped into her network of experts for insight from Colorado attorneys, marijuana industry insiders and others long entrenched in the cannabis scene.
Here are 15 of the year’s most fascinating reader questions about Colorado marijuana:
(Got a question of your own? Email your query to Ask The Cannabist at email@example.com.)
1. Pulled over by police? Know your rights
Q: I am about to take an out-of-state road trip. What the heck is going on with our neighboring states with regard to stopping people with Colorado plates and searching for pot? With or without carrying under one ounce of pot, what are our rights, as Colorado citizens, when we enter neighboring states?
A: The police enforce laws within their geographical jurisdiction. So, legal Colorado cannabis becomes illegal when transported out of state. I asked defense attorney Lauren Davis for the scoop on the current situation. “If the officer witnesses any law violation, like failure to signal for a turn, they are legally entitled to pull you over.” What to do if this happens to you? Davis advises being proactive in using your rights. Read the full response.
2. Calculating THC dosage for home cooking
Q: I’m a recipient of a quarter-ounce of weed given to me by a friend. I’d like to use it for cooking and I’m encouraged by the recipes on this site. However, I can’t find a way to convert what I have into practical use. I keep reading how much stronger today’s strains are compared to the varieties available twenty years ago. How do I adjust for this increased potency when I get in the kitchen?
A: Your sense of precaution is good. Definitely take notes and prepare, you don’t want to make edibles too strong. No one likes to overdose, or as I like to say, “overdowd” on edibles and have a bad time. I talked with chef Jessica Catalano about home cannabis cooking recommendations and THC dosage. Catalano is the Summit County-based author of “The Ganja Kitchen Revolution.” First, identify the percentage of THC in the strain you’re cooking with. Read the full response.
Best of 2014:
Special report from The Cannabist
3. Pot for pets
Q: My dog gets carsick on even short trips. Gravol and veterinary anti-nausea treatments haven’t worked for him, so I’m wondering whether giving him a small amount of pot butter before we go in the car might be a good idea. Is this a terrible idea? Any idea on dosing for a 25-pound beagle?
A: Um, don’t dose your dog. According to Dr. Robin Downing of Windsor Veterinary Clinic, it is a terrible idea. “The idea of cannabinoids in dogs and cats is terrific in theory, as they possess cannabinoid receptors in their nervous systems,” Downing says. “At the moment there is ZERO data.” Read the full response.
4. Avoiding pot small talk
Q: I travel a lot for work. In small talk, everywhere I go, whenever someone finds out I’m from Colorado, the conversation immediately shifts to questions about marijuana. Umm, I voted for A64, but I don’t know what to say. It’s awkward talking to strangers about opinions I’d rather not talk about with strangers. How do I get out of this persistent problematic situation without being a jerk?
A: You voted for Amendment 64 but you didn’t sign up to be a goodwill ambassador for marijuana reform during your business travels, eh? As a result, you’re stumbling through awkward conversations everywhere you go and hating it. I spoke with Linda Hill, Director of Colorado School of Protocol and Etiquette about how to politely limit an unwelcome or controversial conversation topic. Maintain your privacy, there is no need to disclose any of your personal habits or discuss your history of recreational drug use. Read the full response.
5. Hashing it out
Q: What gives with the lack of European style hash in Colorado? After much research, I have found only a few shops that sell ice-water processed bubble hash. If we can make this, we can also make Nepalese Temple Ball, Black Pakistani, Red Afghani, Turkish, Moroccan, Jamaican finger and El Primo!
A: Nice enthusiasm for traditional hash! Adam Dunn, host of “The Adam Dunn Show” on iCannabis Radio, compares the two styles: “The main difference between Colorado hash and European-style hash is a traditional hash is hand rubbed or dry sieved. Dry-sieved hash is lower in THC than water hash and solvent-extracted hash that is available here in Colorado.”
Dunn says production methods for hand-rubbed hash are not consistent. Read the full response.