Amsterdam has long been known as the most weed-friendly place in the world, but with the passage of Colorado's new law legalizing the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over, Amsterdam will have to take a back seat to Colorado's capital city.
Here are five ways Denver is more weed-friendly than Amsterdam.
1. You can buy way more weed legally in Denver than you can in Amsterdam.
Colorado's Amendment 64 allows state residents to buy 1 ounce of weed at a time from the state's dispensaries, most of which are located in the Denver area. (Out-of-state residents are limited to a quarter ounce at a time.) In Amsterdam, you can't buy more than 5 grams at a time from the city's "coffee shops."
2. You can legally grow weed in Denver. In Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, that's against the law.
In Denver, as in the rest of the state, you can grow up to six plants per adult in the privacy of your own home, as long as they're grown in an "enclosed, locked space" and no more than three of the plants are flowering at a time. Cultivation of marijuana throughout the Netherlands is against the law, although there's a policy of tolerance for people growing a small amount of weed in their own homes.
3. Denver city law lets you blaze on your front porch or in your backyard. In Amsterdam, that's a no-no.
Despite early efforts to outlaw smoking weed in open view in Denver, the Denver City Council voted in December to let residents blaze on private property even while in public view, like on front porches, balconies, etc. Smoking at someone else's house without their permission is illegal, however.
In the Netherlands, contrary to popular belief, smoking pot is technically illegal, although it's tolerated in certain places under certain conditions. That means that if you're sitting on a blanket smoking in your backyard on a sunny day, you're technically breaking the law.
4. You can legally buy weed brownies, magic cookies and cannabis lollipops in Denver. In Amsterdam, that's illegal.
The Colorado Department of Revenue's awesomely named Marijuana Enforcement Division says that you can buy up to 1-ounce worth of weed edibles in Colorado if you're a state resident. (Out-of-staters are limited to a quarter-ounce's worth of stoner treats, which is still no small portion.) Anyone up for some marijuana-infused baklava?
Amsterdam, on the other hand, does have weed edibles for sale in some coffee shops. But again, such products are illegal, strictly speaking, under Netherlands law.
5. You can gift your friends up to 1 ounce of weed in Denver, but not in Amsterdam.
Christmas just got a lot more fun in Colorado. State law explicitly states that it's completely legal to give another adult up to 1 ounce of marijuana as long as no money is exchanged. In Amsterdam, although it's rare that you would be prosecuted for it, giving any weed to a friend is against the law.