Reminder: It’s Still Illegal to Toke Up in National Parks in CO and WA
Attention, stoners: getting a Rocky Mountain high in Rocky Mountain National Park is still illegal.
And that goes double if you work there.
Although possessing and smoking marijuana was recently legalized in the states of Colorado and Washington, a memo was recently sent out to NPS employees reminding them that smoking up is still against federal law, and that federal employees are still subject to drug tests, reports National Parks Traveler. The buzzkill memo, from an NPS associate director, lays it out:
Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, and marijuana use is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test result. A prescription or written recommendation for marijuana from a licensed physician or medical professional does not exempt the employee or applicant from this rule.
Fine, fine, you say, but we’re not all federal employees, right?
Well, before you start planning your summer trip to the Olympics by way of a Seattle dispensary, take heed of a different memo, issued by the DOJ in December 2012, soon after Washington and Colorado passed their laws. It reads, in part:
Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.
And, according to a September report by the Associated Press, rangers are enforcing the law, too. Possession is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Smoking, in general, is not a great idea in fire-prone areas. Many parks, including Rocky Mountain, have smoking restrictions because of high wildfire risk—and that’s the kind of blaze that doesn’t make anybody happy.