Colorado Springs Marijuana Defense Attorney
Local Marijuana Laws In Colorado Springs
In a landmark referendum vote held in 2012, the citizens of Colorado endorsed the use of marijuana recreationally throughout the state. The relevant laws were put into effect in 2014.
This made Colorado the second state in the country (after Washington) to legalize recreational, non-medical marijuana use.
The decisions in these states put their local laws at odds with federal ones, which still consider marijuana use a crime. Although Colorado has opened up a path to legally enjoying marijuana within its borders, this does not mean that the state has tossed out all of its cannabis laws.
Marijuana Crime Still Possible In Colorado
Colorado imposes comprehensive regulations on the cultivation, distribution, and use of marijuana and cannabis. Committing a marijuana crime is still entirely possible in Colorado.
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Recreational Marijuana Use In Colorado: The Limitations.
We have a surprising number of clients who are unfamiliar with Colorado’s rules and regulations on marijuana possession. These are the key legal points you should keep in mind:
- Possession and personal use of marijuana is limited to individuals of 21 years of age or older.
- Marijuana can only be legally purchased from licensed retailers.
- The legal limit for marijuana possession is two ounces per individual.
- Possession of larger amounts is criminal. Marijuana use in public places is prohibited.
- More than two ounces is a petty offense with a $100 fine.
- Possession of 2 – 6 ounces is a misdemeanor with a possible 12 month jail term plus a $700 fine.
- More than 12 ounces is a felony, punishable by 1 – 2 years in jail with a $100,000 fine.
- Marijuana use on federal property is prohibited. This includes national parks in Colorado.
- Colorado employers are free to use marijuana tests to make employment decisions.
Being charged with and convicted for a marijuana offense in Colorado can cause severe long-term problems for you. Even if you steer clear of the harshest penalties, like serving a prison sentence, a marijuana conviction can have an adverse effect on your future activities, including applying for jobs, qualifying for good housing and traveling.
You really do need the best criminal defense attorney if you wind up on the wrong side of Colorado’s marijuana laws.
The Law Office of Jeremy Loew has handled many marijuana cases, and our experience and dogged determination to protect our clients offers the best chance for a good outcome.
Current Colorado Marijuana Law
Current Colorado marijuana law allows an individual to possess up to two ounces of marijuana or 6 cannabis plants. There is some leeway for registered medical marijuana patients, particularly when it comes to plants. Plant counts can be higher for registered patients.
While federal law enforcement agencies pay little attention to individuals holding small amounts of marijuana, it must be recognized that any possession of the drug, in any amount, still constitutes a federal crime.
In Colorado, the private consumption of marijuana carries no penalty under state law, within the limitations listed above. Public consumption is a different matter. Colorado law considers public consumption a petty offense; offenders will be fined and sentenced to community service – up to 24 hours.
While some legal ambiguity exists in how “public” is defined and applied in this context, from a practical standpoint, you should be aware that using marijuana out in the open is generally a crime in Colorado.
Driving Under The Influence of Drugs (DUID)
Colorado has laws against driving under the influence of drugs, an offense commonly referred to as DUID. The Colorado State Department of Transportation has set a blood test limit for active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), just like driving under the influence of alcohol. Colorado’s current limit on THC is five nanograms in a driver’s whole blood. Note that law enforcement officers carry out arrests based on observed impairment. In Colorado courts, DUID is treated with the same seriousness as alcohol DUI.
Distribution Of Marijuana To A Minor
Colorado’s marijuana laws still reserve notably harsh penalties for individuals who are convicted of distributing marijuana to a minor. All forms of distribution to a minor are considered felonies and carry harsh sentences.
Even if the total amount of marijuana distributed to a child is under an ounce, the crime is considered a level 4 drug felony. Prison sentences for distribution to a minor can go as high as 32 years depending on the details of the case. Violators fall under the distribution ban as long as they are two years older than the child in question. That means that a high school senior of 18 years of age can be convicted for a felony if she shares marijuana with a 16-year-old friend.
Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia
Paraphernalia possession remains a crime in Colorado provided that the offender knows or should know that the items in question could be used to violate the state’s laws. Paraphernalia used to consume or cultivate marijuana and cannabis within the state’s legal limits (one ounce or less of marijuana or no more than six plants) is legal.
A paraphernalia conviction is considered a class two petty offense and may be penalized with a fine of up to $100.
You Need An Experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney
While it’s true that the possession and usage of marijuana in Colorado have been legal, in certain circumstances, since 2012, you can still run afoul of the law and will need an experienced marijuana defense attorney to fight for your rights. Jeremy Loew has the legal knowledge and experience, plus the determination and resolve to do the hard work needed for the best outcome possible.
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