Police briefly shut down a bus station in Boulder, Colorado Tuesday morning after a security guard noticed a suspicious object that turned out to be a marijuana smoking device known colloquially as a bong, The Daily Camera is reporting.
Police were called to the downtown Boulder Transit Center at 6:01 a.m. after a security guard called in a report of a foot-long, plastic, pipe-shaped object that was capped at both ends. Thinking it might be a pipe bomb, the security guard called the cops, according to police spokesperson Kim Kobel.
Police briefly shut down the bus station and a few side streets before a cop recognized the object for what it was: a plastic water pipe – what marijuana users would refer to as a “bong.”
“It was some kind of either marijuana storage or marijuana smoking device. There was some marijuana in it.”
Kobel says, via CBS Denver, that the device wasn’t left at the bus station with the intention of creating a scare; most likely, the user just forgot about it (go figure).
Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado (and a handful of other states), forgotten bongs are likely to turn up in more unexpected places than just bus stations. Technically, though, whoever brought a bong to the bus station was committing a crime, since Colorado’s pot laws don’t allow smoking in public, and certainly not on public transit.
In fact, Colorado’s legal pot framework allows municipalities to set their own rules with regard to pot within their boundaries, and Boulder’s pot laws are rather strict, according to The Savela Law Firm.
“There are people on the council and working in Boulder enforcement that wish marijuana was still illegal. Act like you have something to hide because you probably do. The Boulder Municipal Code on Marijuana is lengthy and must be understood as a whole. No specific part necessarily means what you think it means. The City has a codified zero tolerance policy. Keep your activities private because you probably do not know the code well enough to follow it completely. If you violate any one portion of it, you face a $5000 fine and one year in jail.”
As for the crime of leaving an unattended bong in a bus station, Kobel credits the security guard for exercising caution.
“That was the right thing to do. If you don’t know what something is, call us so we can get eyes on it.”
As of this post, it is not clear if police intend to pursue criminal charges against the person who left a bong at the Boulder bus station.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/manolyto]