Because marijuana use is medically and recreationally legal, learning that there are still legal possession and usage penalties confuses many Colorado residents.
To help keep you on the right side of the law when buying and using marijuana, let’s cover the legal process for purchasing and consuming marijuana products. As skilled and knowledgeable drug defense attorneys in Colorado, we will also review a few of the most common violations we see when representing our clients in these matters.
Buying/Consuming Marijuana Legally
According to Denver, Colorado drug laws, marijuana is legal to buy and consume by individuals 21 years of age or older, so long as the product is purchased from a legally-established marijuana dispensary. Marijuana retailers can only sell one ounce of marijuana at a time to a single customer.
21 and older can purchase one ounce of marijuana at a given time (though medical patients can purchase two ounces), and must only share marijuana products with other individuals 21 and older.
Finally, it is illegal to sell marijuana in Colorado unless the seller is licensed to do so through the state. However, an individual is permitted to give another individual up to two ounces of marijuana without a sale.
Violations and Penalties
Legal issues surrounding marijuana possession occur when an individual has more than two ounces of marijuana. While slightly over two ounces of marijuana is a petty offense that only incurs a $100 fine, possession of 2+ to 12 ounces is a misdemeanor, and possession of more than 12 ounces is a felony. Possession of too many plants, not having the appropriate marijuana grow authorizations, and possession of marijuana derivatives and concentrates are common offenses in Colorado.
A misdemeanor marijuana possession charge is usually punishable by fines and up to 18 months in jail. A first-time offender felony drug charge is punishable by fines and up to two years imprisonment. A marijuana charge can range from a drug misdemeanor (DM1) up to a drug felony (DF1).
Selling (intent to distribute) can be a misdemeanor up to a felony charge, depending on the amount, and it is punishable by fines and anywhere between 6 months and 32 years imprisonment.
Cultivating more than six marijuana plants is illegal as a Colorado resident, and being a felony, it is punishable by fines and up to six years imprisonment.
Marijuana and DUI/DWAIs
While Colorado’s residents are allowed to have marijuana products in their vehicles, They must be stored in closed containers. Moreover, the use of marijuana in a vehicle is prohibited, and driving while high is similarly against the law.
It is illegal to operate a vehicle or show intent to operate it while using marijuana. This law applies to any vehicle, including boats, bicycles, tractors, golf carts, scooters, and more.
Colorado’s residents who have been charged with a marijuana-related DUI are encouraged to contact a DUI drugs attorney who can provide them with experienced legal representation. With legal assistance, it’s possible to reach a more favorable outcome than what may occur if the accused attempts self-representation in court.
If you’re facing a marijuana-related charge, reach out to COLawTeam right away to speak with one of our experienced drug defense attorneys in Colorado. We will take every measure to ensure that your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.