Can you use cannabis at a ski resort? Why to keep your toke off the slopes

Photo of friends laughing, tailgating before skiing the mountain.
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Just because you’re skiing in a state where cannabis is legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to light up at the resort. While it may seem like there could be nothing better to do after a long day hitting the slopes, ski resorts around the country are cracking down on visitors using cannabis on their grounds.

RELATED: These slopes are dope: Top cannabis-friendly ski towns in the U.S.

But why aren’t ski resorts embracing the perks of legalization? We broke down the “why” behind the strict cannabis policies on ski resorts, and what cannabis products you can, and can’t, bring to your next ski trip.

2021 saw a rash of states opting to legalize marijuana for recreational use. As it stands today, many of the states where marijuana is legal for either medicinal or recreational are home to some of the best ski resorts in the nation. The states of California, Colorado, Vermont, and Utah all have superb skiing.

So, why is it still illegal to smoke cannabis at ski resorts in states that have legalized its use? It all comes down to the matter of state vs federal law.

Many ski resorts are on federal land. Anything you do while on federal land is subject to federal law, which supersedes state law.

Unfortunately, federal law has not yet been amended to support the use of cannabis, for either medicinal or recreational use. At the moment, cannabis remains a prohibited substance under federal law per the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

This makes the use of marijuana on most ski resorts across the US an illegal act. It’s not only ski resorts, either. Using cannabis on any piece of federal land—any national park, for example—is also prohibited.

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What does this mean for your packing list? Well, you shouldn’t bring cannabis of any form, whether it be edibles, tinctures, or dry flower.

What you can bring is CBD. CBD and any hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal under federal law, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. So feel free to grab that anti-inflammatory CBD cream to soothe your aching muscles after a day on the slopes.

RELATED: Skiing this winter? Here’s why CBD should be on your packing list

While you may think you’re not likely to get caught, you should be aware that ski resorts strictly enforce their cannabis policies. This is likely due to a combination of the legal ramifications for them and safety issues for their guests.

Skiing and snowboarding while under the influence of any consciousness-altering substance is, of course, risky and something any resort would advise against. In order to legally protect themselves and physically protect their guests, many resorts are taking measures to deter visitors from using any cannabis products.

And aside from the risk of personal injury, there are some other good reasons not to try sneaking weed into a ski resort. At best, smoking marijuana could get your ski pass revoked, but at worst it could land you with a criminal record.

For all of the above reasons, the answer to whether you can use cannabis at a ski resort is a resounding “no.” But you can incorporate cannabis into your ski trip in other ways. Check out our list of top ski towns for cannabis enthusiasts for travel ideas, and take a look at what CBD products to use on your trip.

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