Legal pot a hit in Colorado as new laws take effect

As reported in the NY Post


Colorado residents fired up bongs and cheered through clouds of pot smoke on the first day of the state’s legal sale of recreational marijuana.

Business was brisk, with thousands of cannabis-craving customers — many driving from across the country — lining up to partake when weed marts’ doors opened at 8 a.m.

Colorado is first state in the country to legalize recreational pot sales. Residents over 21 with a Colorado ID can buy up to an ounce of weed or hemp at a time; out-of-staters can get up to a quarter ounce.

By mid-afternoon Wed­nesday, demand for a Rocky Mountain high was so great that some stores, like Denver’s LoDo Wellness, limited purchases to a quarter-ounce for in-staters, with an eighth for nonresidents.

Meanwhile — in another of the nearly 40,000 new laws that took effect Jan. 1 — Illinois drivers put the hammer down as the speed limit on most highways was raised to 70 mph, except in the Chicago area.

Illinois also banned the use of aerial drones by law enforcement without a warrant. And human-trafficking victims who are branded or tattooed by their captors can now use money from the Crime Victim Compensation Act to have the marks removed.

Mixed drinks in Texas bars and restaurants are now served with an 8.25 percent tax; previously, they were untaxed.

Also in Texas — and Oregon and Illinois — pasty-skinned teenagers lamented a new law that bans them from tanning salons until they’re 18.

In California, transgender schoolkids are now allowed to use bathrooms and join sports teams of their “gender identity’’ group, regardless of what sex they were born.

Paparazzi who harass kids of public figures in the Golden State can face a year in the slammer and a $10,000 fine. And Los Angeles shoppers who dare show up at the grocery without their own reusable bags will have to pay 10 cents a bag under a new single-use plastic-bag ban.

Delaware has made it illegal to own, sell or distribute shark fins, which are considered a delicacy in some East Asian cuisine.

Minimum-wage workers will get a paycheck bump in 13 states, with Oregon raising the hourly minimum to $9.10, Connecticut to $8.70, New Jersey to $8.25, and New York and Rhode Island to $8. California’s minimum will jump to $9, but not until July. The national minimum wage is currently $7.25.

In Rhode Island, job-seekers no longer have to disclose criminal records on job applications. Oregon colleges and employers can no longer demand prospective students or workers disclose social- media account passwords.

On a national level, it’s lights out for incandescent 40- and 60-watt light bulbs — the most popular types in the country. Lawmakers banned the manufacture and import of the bulbs in favor of more energy-efficient lights.

Vending-machine snackers will face the harsh reality of their indulgences, as the government has ordered calorie counts to be publicly posted for vending products.

The Boy Scouts of America will let gay kids join — but leaders are still required to be heterosexual.

And a new IRS rule could sink a longstanding restaurant policy of automatically adding a gratuity to the bill of large parties, because such tips will now be treated as taxable wages.