Marijuana giveaways raise interesting questions

A new Colorado law OKs recreational use of pot, but selling it remains illegal. However, a loophole is prompting some questionable business practices.

By Bruce Kennedy Feb 18, 2013 4:34PM

Marijuana plants at a grow house in Denver on Nov. 8, 2012 (© Ed Andrieski/AP Photo)Here's one way to increase foot traffic at your out-of-the-way store: offer a free gift of marijuana with every purchase of $30 or more.

That's the approach one Colorado “head shop” is taking. The Denver Post reports the shop recently put an ad on Craigslist in an effort to attract more customers to its relatively remote site near the city's Sports Authority Field at Mile High (insert your joke here).

"The marijuana is not for sale," the store's owner told the Post. "You're actually purchasing smoking accessories, tobacco, T-shirts, fine art. As a gift for them patronizing our store, we're giving them 2 grams of marijuana for free.... It's just an incentive."

The offer, and others like it, are also coming under scrutiny from both sides of the cannabis issue in Colorado. And it could have an impact on the future of marijuana sales elsewhere in the U.S.

Voters in the state passed Amendment 64 last November, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana by adults. You can also legally "gift" a certain amount of marijuana to someone else. But it's still illegal in Colorado to buy or sell cannabis for recreational purposes -- at least until next year, when communities can decide to allow or ban local retail pot shops.

Medical marijuana is already legal and a big business in Colorado, and this acceptance, along with the apparent legal loophole in Amendment 64 has, for the moment, encouraged others in the cannabis industry to try their luck with "free" pot.

A Colorado Springs delivery service recently came under law enforcement scrutiny for offering door-to-door marijuana deliveries in exchange for "suggested donation[s] towards researching [marijuana] and improving our cultivation operation,” according to the city's Independent newspaper,

Some cannabis-oriented clubs also offer free marijuana -- after you pay an admission fee.

Supporters of Amendment 64 say there's some legal backing for the concept of trading marijuana without "remuneration" for a service, donation or item.

But marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and local law enforcement officials in Colorado are wise to the game as well.

"If I show up at your house with less than an ounce of marijuana, I'm 21, you're 21, and I say, 'Hey dude, it cost me 50 bucks in gas to get over here,' and you give me 50 bucks for my gas, there's nothing illegal," Lt. Mark Comte with Colorado Springs Police told the Independent.

"I mean, you and I both know what's going on with it,” he said, “but they know what the loopholes are right now."

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Feb 18, 2013 5:35PM

Nice to hear at least one cop using COMMON SENSE when discussing the pot issue.   He knows the law, and most businesses with ties to pot know the law as well.    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  There are plenty of REAL criminals to go after out there!

Feb 18, 2013 5:22PM
great idea to give a free sample with the hardware...what do i get for free at the lingerie shop??
Feb 18, 2013 6:03PM
It should be 100% legal in Colorado, Washington and everywhere else!!!! it is our CORRUPT incarceration oriented government that wants to keep it illegal. So they can continue the Nazi "war on Drugs". Their are ALL traitors to the Constitution!!!
Feb 18, 2013 5:19PM
Sorry feds it takes money to produce quality hemp to make medicine from.  This medicine cures cancer 100% inside the body and out.  It also cures many many many other diseases that the government states there are no cures for.  If you do the research you will find how big the lies from this unethical government that does not care nor does it afford the best medicine on the planet.  This medicine could replace all pharmaceuticals.  All of them............  Care to doubt.  Do the research.  Here is some starting points that are undeniably accounts of its healing powers.  Way better than chemo or radiation which in and of itself is a death sentence.  Others are just fooling themselves by not believing in Gods medicine.  It is just that the green herb you eat to beat diseases.  Yep you eat the hemp oil to cure the diseases.  They lie people, and the sad part, you listen to them........................
Feb 18, 2013 6:30PM
They just did a controlled study to see the affects of smoking MJ, and driving in Washington St and had 3 different type of consumers.  One who smoked daily, one who was a weekend smoker, and one who just started smoking.  They had an idea of what they thought was an under the influence level.  And got blown away when they were driving just fine on 13 times the amount allowed.  And said they really need to re-look at this issue.  They are trying to look at it as alcohol, and it is not.  Like has been said,  smokers go from point A to the munchies and home again. Usually at the speed limit or just under, with little to no road rage.  Never speed (drive) unless other substances are added to it like alcohol.  The Feds need to get their head out of their A**'s and look at the Real Whole Picture, not the propaganda, and lobbyists' agenda and info.  Like the beer & wine people who think smoking will cut into their profits......Never have I heard someone say no I don't want a beer I just smoked some MJ.  Hell usually it's yes I have cotton mouth.  This entire issue is messed up.
Feb 18, 2013 5:28PM
Rick Simpsons Run from the cure series on the web shows hemp oil curing cancer.  The federal FDA has patented the Thc and the CBD oils that cure many diseases.  Dont believe me.  Here are the patents held by the US Federal FDA that you just cant imagine can you.  Read this and quit letting your loved ones get sick and die because nothing more would please this government than to see you perish with monies owed to you on SSI.  What a joke this nation of thieves, murderers, and liars, that run our country.

FDA Patent number titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants

Please read all this that pertains to the diseases that Hemp will cure.  Here is the link to that information.  You could replace all pharaceuticals across the board with this medicine.  Medicine people, not bad drugs as the government has suggested.  They know of its healing powers and lie to you about them. 

I love all mankind and everyone in the world deserves to know this TRUTH!.  It will set you free people.

Feb 18, 2013 7:01PM

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." Frank Zappa


"If a law is injust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson


"Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced." Albert Einstein


'Nuff said.

Feb 18, 2013 6:12PM
We never went through all this crap in the 60's. Smoke em if ya got em!  Can't wait to walk into the store oneday and ask for a pack of " Mind Fckers "  
Feb 18, 2013 6:41PM
Feds need to respect the will of the voters here in Colorado and those in Washington.  The other 48 states need to get on board and legalized marijuana nation-wide.
Feb 18, 2013 6:16PM
The only way to find out how this new law will work is to start it up and let it run a little.  KUDOS to law enforcement for not getting caught up in the urge to take down early entrepreneurs trying to figure out a way to capitalize on this opportunity.  The more early participants we have in the marketplace, the less likely the market will be dominated by large financial interests, and the wider the economic benefits.
Feb 18, 2013 6:15PM

Way pun intended...


The feds are wrong and they know it.

Feb 18, 2013 7:35PM
I don't smoke pot. I don't even plan on smoking pot.  But for those in our free country who choose to smoke, let it be.  When will our government  use a little common sense and realize pot smokers are going to smoke regardless of the laws.  They waste our tax money on  police officers trying to arrest these people rather than spending their time more productively on worse crimes.  Tax pot and give our officers a raise for putting their lives on the line for the public.  Thank you
Feb 18, 2013 5:50PM

There's always going to be some sh!t head somewhere trying to fcuk your sh!t up cuz they dont like it.


Feb 18, 2013 6:56PM
I live in Canada So can grow 1 plant on my balcony and nothing will happen, one day someone had called the cops they made a visit saw the plant and said nothing about it.
Feb 18, 2013 7:04PM
Strange comments here. I do hope it works out for them, if only to find out the law can work. It's quasi-legal out here, but our federal prosecutors decided to go after the bank accounts of the sellers. It's made it impossible for them to bank any cash, accept any ATM/credit cards, or have any assets in a bank. It's an end run around the attorney general's hand off approach, and clearly was intended as a giant publicity stunt to further some other lawyers career.  There are a lot of law enforcement jobs that would be lost if the war on pot is declared over. They (potheads) are much easier to find, don't fight back, and won't kill you for arresting them. No pothead has ever gone postal on pot alone. it's just not possible, they may bore you to death rambling on forever, but they won't/can't cut your throat.
Feb 18, 2013 6:31PM
Feb 18, 2013 7:06PM
Unless something changed recently I read our state law page about this the night after the election. What I read on was that it is legal for any person over the age of 21 to use marijuana in the privacy of their own home, grow up to 6 plants total, and sell marijuana to others 21 and older as long as you arent making a big public show and advertisment of it. that was all to be effective the day after the election as well.
Feb 18, 2013 6:53PM

You mean there's a loophole. Sorta like Congress and The Government when it says you slave away doing this un-needed deed for yourself that only benefits the Government & the country the government wants to exist. For this paper money that we will then allow you to purchase the things you need & would of otherwise killed, cooked & probably took from the mouths of those in congress, much like the sweat the government steals off your own back. Yeah, still not quite that good of a loophole as they have on you.

Feb 18, 2013 6:06PM
It's amazing none of our President's haven't pushed for legalization.  We're filling up prisons and releasing violent criminals because there aren't enough beds.  Legalize pot and coke and generate revenue, reduce crime and maybe take real thugs off the streets.
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