GREELEY, Colo. — A barber here is refusing to serve customers who smell like smoke — pot smoke — even though marijuana is legal throughout Colorado.
And he's legally within his right to discriminate, according to Denver lawyer Scott Robinson.
"Business owners absolutely have the right to refuse service to someone who has been smoking pot, is drunk, or for any other reason as long as it's not an unlawful or unconstitutional reason such as race, religion or gender," Robinson said.
The sign posted on the door of Hugo's Barber Shop about 50 miles northeast of Denver is guaranteed to lose some business: "Please do not come in if you smell like marijuana, there are families with kids who don't want to smell it. This is a business not your house, thank you."
Colorado is the first place in the world where marijuana is regulated from seed to sale. Pot is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to the marijuana reform group NORML.
The owner of the barber shop, Hugo Corral, said he has a simple reason for his new rule.
"It's plain and simple disrespect," he said. "People not having respect to the children and families that are in here. Just because it's legal does not mean you can come in here smelling like marijuana and not caring."
About half of Corral's customers had been showing up smelling like pot, which is what prompted him to post the sign about three weeks ago, he said. Customers even have questioned whether people were smoking marijuana in his shop.
The sign already has received a lot of feedback.
"Very controversial," Corral said, "People have been bashing me on social media, making phone calls to my business."
As long as customers are willing to try to mask the smell, Corral said he won't refuse to cut their hair. And the 5-year-old business is booming. He is getting ready to move to a larger location here.
Contributing: Patti Dennis, KUSA-TV, Denver