DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado has a new law designed to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors, and adults who sell marijuana to them can now face felony charges.
Previously shops caught selling marijuana to minors received a fine and a slap on the wrist, but now they could also face jail time.
Outside the 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, security guard Kurt Britz checks IDs. Britz and his fellow workers are on the lookout for underage buyers trying to use fake IDs.
“We’ve caught a few. We’ve caught people trying to come in with other people’s IDs, expired IDs, it’s a real concern,” said Britz.
On Wednesday Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill increasing the penalty for selling pot to a minor from a Class 2 to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Ron Kammerzell with the Department of Revenue says the change is significant.
“A Class 1 can generally have some jail time associated with it. A Class 2 does not,” said Kammerzell.
If a minor buys pot from a person three years or older than them, either a shop or on the streets, the seller could also face a felony charge. Kammerzell says the goal is to protect children and bring pot laws in line with alcohol regulations.
“This was another step to reinforce the importance of licenses, making sure to check folks for underage sales,” said Kammerzell.
Britz says he and his staff will fight to protect their store and that includes extensive training to identify false IDs.
“We’re going to catch them and make sure we’re not selling to any minors,” said Britz.
Another new law states that pot shops can confiscate the IDs of minors who try to buy pot and notify authorities.
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