Since becoming the first state in America to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado has become a template for other states considering legal changes to scrutinize and evaluate. However, despite the general success of the legal alterations regarding cannabis in the state, there are some who fail to adhere to the new structure and neglect to remember that strict rules still apply, despite Colorado’s comparative leniency regarding recreational marijuana.
Possession: Personal possession of cannabis in Colorado by persons aged 21 years or older of up to one ounce is legal.
Possession of 1 – 2 ounces is considered a petty offense punishable by a maximum fine of $100.
Possession of between 2 and 6 ounces of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Possession of between 6 ounces and 12 ounces is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to eighteen months of imprisonment.
Possession of more than 12 ounces is considered a felony which is punishable by 1 year-18 months of imprisonment, as well as a fine between $1,000-$100,000.
Sale: Distribution of one ounce or less of cannabis in Colorado for no remuneration by persons 21 years of age or older is no penalty.
The sale of 5 lbs. or less is considered a felony punishable by a sentence of between 1-3 three years imprisonment and a fine of between $1000-$100,000.
The sale of 5 lbs. or more is considered a felony punishable by a sentence of between 2-6 years imprisonment and a fine of between $2000-$500,000.
The sale of 100 lbs. or more is a felony punishable by between 4-12 years imprisonment as well as a fine between $3000-$75,000.
The sale of 5 lbs. or more to a minor is a felony punishable by between 3-12 years imprisonment as well as a fine between $3000-$75,000.
Sale to a minor under the age of 15 carries with it the additional penalty of a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years imprisonment.
Cultivation: Private cultivation of cannabis in Colorado by persons 21 years of age or older of up to six marijuana plants, with no more than three being mature is legal.
The cultivation of 6 plants or fewer is considered a misdemeanor punishable by 6-18 months imprisonment as well as a fine between $500-$5,000.
The cultivation of more than 6 but fewer than 30 plants is considered a felony punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment as well as a fine between $1,000-$100,000.
The cultivation of 30 or more plants is considered a felony punishable by 2-6 years imprisonment as well as a fine between $2,000-$500,000.
Medical Marijuana: On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters passed Amendment 20, which amends the Colorado State constitution to allow the medical use of cannabis. Patients can possess no more than two ounces of “usable cannabis” and not more than six cannabis plants, and they may neither take their medicine in public, nor even on their own property, if the public can see them taking it.
As of February 29, 2012, the total number of patients who currently possess valid medical marijuana ID cards is 89,646.
Latest Legal News: According to a University poll released in July 2014, Coloradans continued to support the state’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use by a margin of 54–43 percent. At the same time, the poll indicated 66 percent of voters think marijuana use should be legal in private homes and in members-only clubs, but should not be legal in bars, clubs or entertainment venues where alcohol is served. Sixty-one percent of respondents also said laws regulating marijuana use should be as strict as laws regulating alcohol use.
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