Ski Slopes Split on Marijuana Use

Colorado's ski areas differ on enforcement

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Colorado

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Even though Colorado voters legalized marijuana use in 2012, this ski area is enforcing a zero-tolerance policy regarding recreational consumption on their slopes.     Photo: Justinknabb/Flickr

Two weeks into ski season, Colorado's 22 ski resorts leasing land from the federal government are split over whether or not to allow marijuana consumption on the slopes. While the state's voters legalized the drug last year, the Forest Service does not tolerate marijuana in ski areas. While some resorts are enforcing a zero-tolerance policy regarding toking on the slopes, others will accept it.

On opening week, Arapahoe Basin began enforcing a zero-tolerance policy.

"Already I have kicked several people out of here and taken their ski passes for smoking in public," Chief Operating Officer Alen Henceroth wrote on A-Basin's blog. "Those passes will be gone for a very long time."

But not all slopes are enforcing federal substance prohibition laws. Last year Wolf Creek Ski Area decided to overlook marijuana use among patrons as long as it did not pose a safety hazard; that policy returns this year.

As Wolf Creek CEO Davey Pitcher put it to the Denver Post: "Our patrol's job is not to bird-dog everybody when they smell marijuana."

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