An après-ski spliff is to become almost as common as a beer as cannabis possession goes legal in the hip mountain town of Breckenridge, Colorado USA, from 1 January 2010.
Well known as a laid-back party resort characterised by baggy-trousered snowboarders and a vigorous happy hour, Breckenridge voted in November 2009 to relax marijuana laws.
There will be no criminal or civil penalties imposed on anyone carrying up to an ounce of marijuana, or paraphernalia like long rolling papers, a small pipe or a bong.
The operators of the ski resort have made it clear that, while cannabis use may be decriminalised in the town, they are still able to ban it on the slopes under separate laws, and will come down heavily on anyone skiing while stoned.
It will remain illegal to buy, sell or grow cannabis and also to display or use it in public.
Breckenridge becomes the second town in America after Denver to remove all penalties for marijuana possession and the first in history to remove all penalties for paraphernalia
Pot is illegal in Colorado under state and federal law. In theory, the police could stop someone under state law. But they have given no indication that they will do so. They will, however, be adopting “zero tolerance” for those driving while high, smoking dope in public or causing disturbances under the influence of drugs.
– Joanna Walters, The Observer (Londonn), Sunday 27 December 2009