Colorado Pot Users Beware! Legal Pitfalls to Avoid With Recreational Marijuana
The legal and recreational sale of pot in Colorado has been under way since January 1st. For the most part it’s been a smooth transition for the plant that has otherwise been illegal for over 60 years. Coloradoans are now legally allowed to buy, possess, and consume marijuana. But many people are confused as to what the laws surrounding its legal use are. So to help understand this issue a little bit better, read on to find out exactly what you need to know if you intend to use marijuana legally in Colorado.
Colorado Recreational Pot Laws to Be Aware of
Adults that are aged 21 and older are allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants privately in a locked space. No more than half of the plants, 3 in total, can be flowering or “budding” at any given time. For recreational use, it is illegal to sell any amount of marijuana that has been grown privately. For multiple occupants in a single residence, only 12 plants can be kept regardless of the number of people living there.
Buying Marijuana from a Dispensary
Any person aged 21 and older with a valid government-issued photo identification card can purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary. This includes out of state residents as well as Coloradoans. You are allowed to share Marijuana so long as it is with someone of appropriate age and no money is actually exchanged. Personal sale of marijuana is still illegal, though gifting marijuana is not.
Dispensaries That Can Sell Recreational Marijuana
There are a great number of dispensaries in Colorado, but only licensed retail dispensaries are allowed to sell marijuana recreationally to the public. For listing of recreational marijuana dispensaries, check out weedmaps.com.
How Much Marijuana Can be Purchased From a Dispensary
For recreational users, only a quarter of an ounce can be purchased at any particular time. This does not limit a person to the number of times you can make a purchase in a single day, it only limits the amount to each individual visit to a dispensary.
How Much Marijuana Can You Carry on Your Person
For recreational users, one ounce can be carried legally on your person at any particular time. You are also only allowed to possess one ounce at any particular time as well. Once you are in possession of over an ounce, you can be believed to have intent to redistribute which is still a crime.
Where Can You Consume Marijuana
This is becoming one of the grey areas of the law as it is not exactly defined as well as it should be, and as a result is left up to local municipalities to determine the exact laws and rules. As a rule of thumb, you are allowed to consume marijuana on any private location but not on any public property. This includes schools, sporting venues, city parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, and roadways. Marijuana can also not be consumed openly or publicly, even on private residents. This means smoking on your front porch, second story balcony, or anywhere else neighbors and strangers can see the act of consuming marijuana taking place. This is of course to protect those that would otherwise not want to be exposed, and is especially considerate of children.
Marijuana in Colorado Stays in Colorado
Just because marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington does not mean that it is legal elsewhere in the nation. In fact federally it is still illegal and cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. That said, if you purchase marijuana in Colorado, you can by no means legally take it outside of this state. Anything purchased in Colorado must stay here and you are not allowed to mail it out of state, drive with it out of state, or fly with it on an airplane. These are very important points, and if they are confused, you can find yourself being charged with smuggling drugs. This would put quite the damper on the end of your visit to the Colorado.
Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
Driving while under the influence of marijuana remains illegal in Colorado. The operator of a vehicle, even though they may not be “high” is not allowed to smoke while driving just the same as though you may not be drunk, you cannot drink while driving. If an officer suspects you are under the influence of marijuana, you can be asked to take a blood test. You can refuse this test, but the punishments are often harsher than that of receiving a DUID. The blood test measure the amount of THC in the blood stream. Anyone with a test result showing 5 nanograms or more of THC can be arrested for a DUID.
The blood test is supposedly designed to tell how high a person is in the moment, and not account for any marijuana consumed earlier in the week or even the day before. However, the accuracy of this test is still under debate as a person who heavily consumes marijuana may have well over 5 nanograms in their system, and they may not have smoked for days before taking the test.
At The Clark Law Firm, we understand that the law can be a tricky course to navigate. If you need help finding your way and have been convicted of a DUI in Boulder Colorado, or are concerned with Drug Offenses, in need of Felony Defense or Misdemeanor Defense, please be sure to contact us immediately. We will hit the ground running to make sure you have the best Boulder Attorney and legal coverage possible!