Colorado

Dec 27, 2013 11:17 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Pot advocates and police preparing for recreational marijuana sales

Pot advocates and police are readying themselves for the beginning of recreational pot sales in Colorado which will start on New Year's Day.

Though retail sales aren't allowed in Colorado Springs, local pot smoking clubs are still planning parties to celebrate the implementation of Amendment 64. KC Stark, owner of Studio A64, is already expecting a big turnout on Wednesday.

"We're having a big party here to celebrate the end of prohibition," Stark explained. "A gala event for the local cannabis patients, caregivers, growers and anyone over 21 now with recreational marijuana."

Police across the state are preparing for the big day too.

"Doesn't matter how I feel about it, the law is what it is," said Trooper Josh Lewis of the Colorado State Patrol. "We're looking at the same things that we looked at before, driving under the influence of anything is still illegal."

Law enforcement officers across the state will be on the lookout for people driving under the influence of marijuana. During traffic stops many of the traditional field tests, such as balancing on one leg or walking a straight line, will be conducted. However, there will be some differences.

"For marijuana there is no breath test, it's a blood test or a refusal," Trooper Lewis explained.

Officers can conduct blood tests to see if drivers are over the legal blood limit of 5-nanograms of THC, the test can be refused at the risk of facing harsher penalties.

Pot advocates and police are asking that anyone who partakes in pot next week do it responsibly.

"We offer our membership cards with their legal rights, so they know their rights, so they know not to drive under the influence," KC Stark described. "We call it the 'responsible use program' where you can use it but lets be responsible, lets show the world that we can do that."

Training for marijuana DUI enforcement is being conducted for law enforcement officers across the state. The first sale of recreational marijuana is scheduled to take place in Denver on Wednesday morning.

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