On January 1, 2014, tourists in Colorado will be able to purchase marijuana at some dispensaries. Anyone with a valid ID proving they are 21 years or older can purchase a small quantity of marijuana at dispensaries that are licensed to sell recreational marijuana. Most dispensaries will only be able to sell to medical marijuana patients.
The question is where can you consume? There are strong smoking bans throughout Colorado. You cannot consume in public. Many hotels will fine you for smoking in your non-smoking room. The common areas of hotels are "in public." It is certainly arguable that a balcony is not "in public." Most cigarette smoking areas are "in public." Especially in tourist family areas, police will ticket you for public consumption. If you expect kids may be around, know that the police will be watching for marijuana consumption. And, it smells, so it will be easy to spot. A consideration should be given to vaporizers to prevent the odor of smoking.
Tourists should be careful with dosing. Colorado marijuana is often much more potent than the underground ditchweed found elsewhere. A person should wait at least 2 hours after smoking prior to driving and I recommend 4 hours. This is dose dependent, but smoking or vaporizing marijuana usually provides the greatest high about 20 minutes after consumption and that fades quickly over time.
Remember that in Colorado our DUI rules are different than most states - our lesser DUI, called Driving While Ability Impaired DWAI, only requires that a jury find that your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree, either mentally or physically, by alcohol, drugs or a combination. Please know that alcohol and marijuana are not additive, but instead multiply to make driving exponentially more difficult when used together. Please take a cab or walk, but stay off the road. The worst result is to hurt or kill someone.
Edibles should be used with great caution. It takes 20-60 minutes for edibles to take affect depending on whether there is food in the stomach. Edibles will last for several hours with a fairly consistent high. I do not recommend driving until a person has had a full nights sleep after consuming an edible. If a person takes too high of a dose, it will take a long time for that dose to clear the body. Pay attention to how you feel and do not take a chance with driving.
We do not want you to "come on vacation and leave on probation."