Common Questions About Colorado Drug Laws
Although Colorado was one of the leaders when states started legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, there are still many drug crimes that come with strict penalties.
Here are answers to some common questions about drug offenses:
How are drug offenses charged?
Possession of Schedule I and Schedule II drugs is charged at either a misdemeanor or felony level generally based on the quantity found. The severity can be affected by where the drugs were seized (within a certain proximity of a school).
Other charges may be added if a weapon was also found or a stop was initially for impaired driving and led to finding controlled substances in a glove box or the trunk.
Can I still get in trouble for having marijuana?
Even though the recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, you can still face criminal charges for possessing marijuana. Generally, if you have one ounce or less, there is no penalty. Other circumstances, however, can lead to criminal penalties, including:
- Open displays or uses of less than two ounces can lead to 15 days in jail and/or a fine.
- Possessing more than 12 ounces of marijuana concentrate is a felony and can lead to jail time and a fine.
Most other marijuana charges are considered petty offenses or misdemeanors, but even a conviction on a misdemeanor offense can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
What does intent to distribute actually mean?
While law enforcement officers sometimes catch individuals in the act of selling. It is much more common that these charges occur if the quantity suggests a plan to distribute. If the officer thinks you have more than what you would use personally, you may be looking at charges for intending to distribute the substance.
Can I grow my own marijuana?
The state of Colorado allows residents to grow up to six marijuana plants, only three of which can be in the flowering stage and all of them must be indoors.
If there are minors in the home, the plants must be kept in a secure location.
What about the manufacture of other substances?
The manufacture of most other drugs is a felony in Colorado. The level and consequences depend on the substance, the amount and the circumstances. If you are convicted of a felony, you can expect jail time, hefty fines or both.