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How to Celebrate '4/20' Without Getting Arrested

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

The reefer-reveler's annual "holiday," 4/20, is this weekend. And while some state and local laws have changed to allow slightly more mnarijuana in our lives, you can still be arrested for participating in this popular annual pot party.

So avoid buzzkills this 4/20 and celebrate without getting arrested. Here are four tips to help you keep things legal:

1. Be in Colorado or Washington.

Colorado and Washington are the only two states that have legalized recreational possession and use of marijuana for most adults. Even though there are plenty of states that have legalized marijuana possession and use for medical purposes, your "need" to smoke on 4/20 is likely not reason enough to grant you a medical marijuana card.

Colorado's first recreational pot shops opened in January, so Colorado residents (and even out-of-state residents) who are over 21 can purchase some 4/20 party favors. Washington, on the other hand, will not have any licensed recreational pot shops in time for this year's 4/20. Seattle's KING-TV reports that lotteries are set to distribute these recreational licenses... on April 21.

2. Don't Mail Pot.

Even if you are in the Rocky Mountain State, for pete's pot's sake don't try mailing your legally purchased marijuana to a friend. No matter whether you send a package via the USPS or FedEx, you can get arrested for violating federal law.

The Stranger notes that you can get pot delivered from a few businesses in Seattle via courier; however, the courier may be committing a felony.

3. Don't Smoke in Public.

In both Colorado and Washington, smoking pot in public is illegal. It's not like the kind of offense that will get you thrown in prison, but it may get you arrested if you smoke in public on 4/20. Just as a refresher, "public" includes almost all streets, parks, buses, city buildings, schools, and malls.

Private residences or cannabis cafes are likely not "public" places for purposes of this smoking prohibition.

4. Don't Resell Your Weed, Even If It's 'Legally' Purchased.

Even in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, buying and selling it without a license is illegal. If you go into a Colorado recreational pot store, purchase an ounce, and then turn around and sell part of your stash to a friend, you can be arrested.

Not only is this illegal under state law, it is a federal crime as well. Same goes for medical marijuana patients selling medicinal pot to each other.

Here's hoping you stay out of handcuffs this 4/20 and don't do anything to get yourself arrested. However, if you do find yourself in police custody, an experienced drug crimes lawyer is just a click or a phone call away.

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