Marijuana enforcement at ski areas on federal land a priority, says Forest Service rep
We recently reported about the controversy over an Arapahoe Basin executive announcing that skiers caught smoking marijuana in public at the resort could lose their lift ticket -- a warning that stirred plenty of controversy. But one important factor may not have been fully considered by those on either side of the issue: Arapahoe Basin, like most Colorado ski areas, is on federal land. Moreover, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman stresses that pot is illegal in such places -- and stopping its use remains a priority.
As we've reported, Arapahoe Basin was the first Colorado ski area to open for the 2013 ski season.
Shortly thereafter, A-Basin chief operating officer Al Henceroth wrote a blog post entitled "Marijuana." It reads:
Courtesy of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Facebook page Opening day 2013 at Arapahoe Basin.
For good or bad, Colorado is notorious for the passing of Amendment 64 legalizing limited marijuana usage. I recently saw Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly making fun of Coloradans on The Daily Show. A very important piece of the new law clearly states that marijuana usage in public is still illegal. A-Basin is a public place and you cannot smoke marijuana here.
Already I have kicked several people out of here and taken their ski passes for smoking in public. Those passes will be gone for a very long time. We will not hesitate to call the cops on this issue.
Marijuana smokers, please use your heads on this. You cannot smoke marijuana in public while at A-Basin.
A64 has no impact on federal laws that make marijuana illegal. That's important, since, according to the Summit Daily, 22 of Colorado's 25 major ski resorts are either wholly or largely located on federal land.
"There are some cases where the parking lots aren't on federal land and the ski area is," notes Chris Strebig, media officer for the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain region. "But in most cases, the entire resort is on forest service land."
As such, pot-reform action taken by voters in Colorado and Washington state has no impact at places like Arapahoe Basin.
Continue to read more about marijuana use at ski areas on federal land.