Although Colorado has legalized marijuana in many regards, there are still marijuana crimes. Some of these crimes are felony offenses punishable by a year or more in prison and fines up to $100,000. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are facing “just a marijuana charge.” You need highly experienced legal counsel to protect your interests, the sooner the better.
The criminal defense lawyers of Flesch & Beck Law have years of experience defending citizens in Metro Denver and statewide against drug charges, including marijuana offenses. We are current with the new marijuana laws and how they are being enforced and punished. Our knowledgeable and aggressive representation may keep you out of jail and keep your record clean.
Colorado Marijuana Law And Marijuana Drug Crimes
As of Jan. 1, 2014, Amendment 64 decriminalized the recreational possession of marijuana in Colorado. Residents age 21 and older can purchase and possess up to an ounce. Medical marijuana users can possess up to two ounces. However, it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in most public places and illegal to possess marijuana on federal lands. The new laws have spawned a marijuana industry, but growing and selling cannabis is tightly regulated.
Flesch & Beck Law represents people who have run afoul of the new Colorado statutes or the existing (and often conflicting) federal marijuana laws. Our defense attorneys can intervene if you are charged with:
- Public use of marijuana
- Marijuana DUI (driving under the influence of cannabis)
- Felony possession of marijuana (more than an ounce)
- Medical marijuana violations (more than two ounces)
- Growing more than six plants (personal use)
- Growing more than 15 plants (licensed grower)
- Selling marijuana or marijuana-laced products without a license
- Transporting marijuana across state lines
- Drug trafficking
Possessing and consuming marijuana in Colorado
The State of Colorado expressly states that only people 21 years of age or older are legally allowed to possess or to use any amount of marijuana in Colorado. Up to one ounce of pot can be in the possession of an of-age Colorado resident at any given time. Possession by visitors to the state is capped at one-quarter of an ounce.
Giving pot to anyone under the age of 21 is illegal. Underage persons found possessing marijuana will face civil penalties.
Even for people legally allowed to consume marijuana, this cannot be done in public locations. A person can walk down a city street smoking a cigarette, but not a joint. Similarly, the Clean Indoor Air Act prevents smoking of marijuana in hotel rooms or other areas designated as smoke-free. A minimum of 75 percent of rooms in hotels, motels or inns must remain as no-smoking zones.
Growing and selling marijuana in Colorado
For now, marijuana can only be purchased at locations designated as sources for medicinal marijuana transactions. This includes for recreational use. In 2016, other businesses will be able to be licensed to legally sell recreational pot.
In the meantime, people can grow their own marijuana plants. The law requires that all plants are secured in locked areas, either inside or outside. Each home is limited to a maximum of 12 plants, if more than two people over 21 reside there. If only one person of age lives at a particular residence, then the maximum number of pot plants allowed is six. People under 21 are not to be allowed any access to marijuana plants in a private home.
Driving and marijuana in Colorado
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, drugged driving charges can result in penalties akin to drunk driving charges. A maximum of five nanograms of THC in a driver’s blood is allowed. Levels beyond that are illegal, even if the pot has been used medicinally.
Officers can arrest drivers if they observe any behavior that suggests potential impairment. They can also request that drivers take blood tests. Test refusals will result in the revocation of drivers’ licenses, as well as the required use of ignition interlock devices for as long as two years. No criminal conviction is required in order for these consequences to be in effect.
Don’t Let Your Future Go Up In Smoke
A drug conviction of any kind can result in jail or prison time and other criminal penalties. The collateral consequences can be very harsh, too. A “marijuana conviction” may not sound so terrible, but it could literally cost you jobs or career opportunities, a scholarship or college eligibility, a loan or apartment, plus the right to vote and possess firearms.
We know what to do to avoid these extreme consequences. If you have no prior offenses, you may qualify for a deferred sentence or diversion program. If the prosecutor can’t or won’t negotiate, we will challenge the arrest from every possible angle to prevent a conviction or limit the sentence. We regularly try cases, and we have a good track record in court.