Recreational Marijuana Use in Colorado
If you are caught in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana in Colorado, you will be charged with having committed a petty offence:
- You will be summoned to appear in court and, once you have given your promise to attend the hearing, you will be released from custody. Maximum penalty is $100. If you fail to attend the court hearing, the charge will be increased to a misdemeanor.
- The penalty for public use or display of your < 2oz of marijuana attracts an added penalty of up to fifteen days in jail.
- Possession of more than two ounces of marijuana in Colorado is classed as a misdemeanor and attracts a penalty of six to eighteen months in jail plus a fine of $500 – $5,000. Additionally, you will be required to pay $600 surcharge.
- Possession of greater than 8 ounces of marijuana in Colorado is a felony offense, the penalty for which is one to three years imprisonment together with a fine of $1,000 – $100,000. The surcharge this time is $1,125.
- Repeated convictions of possession of over two ounces of marijuana in Colorado doubles the possible penalties.
- Gifting less than two ounces of marijuana in Colorado is classed as possession and is punished as such.
- Any other transfer, sale, manufacture or cultivation of marijuana in Colorado is a felony. The penalty is two to four years in jail together with a fine of $2,000 – $500,000. The surcharge is $1,500.
- To transport more than 100lbs of marijuana in Colorado attracts a penalty of anywhere between eight and twenty-four years in prison, together with a fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000.
- Any transfer of marijuana to a minor in Colorado is a felony attracting a jail term of two to four years in prison and a fine of $2,000 – $500,000.
- To sell marijuana within 1,000 feet of a Colorado school or public housing area will attract a jail term of eight to twenty-four years in prison together with a fine of $10,000 to $1,000,00.
Medical Marijuana Use in Colorado
Cannabis for medical use became legal in Colorado on June 1, 2001. Patients must be in possession of written documentation from their physician confirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition that “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.” This written evidence is then used in the registration process with the Colorado Board of Health.
The following illnesses are legally protected under the Colorado Medical Marijuana Act:
- HIV/AIDS positive
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy
- Persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- Other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health
Amendments to Colorado Medical Marijuana Law
On June 7, 2010, HB1284 was signed into law and established state provisions regulating medical cannabis dispensaries.
The law requires that medical marijuana dispensaries are licensed at both state and local level and must pay a state licensing fee. Dispensary operators are to cultivate, or oversee the cultivation of, at least 70% of the marijuana dispensed at the center.
HB1284 also imposed a statewide moratorium on the establishment of new dispensaries, although it allowed for Individual caregivers to provide medical cannabis for up to five patients in localities that have formally banned dispensaries.
Also on June 7, 2010, SB109 was signed into law. This bill makes it compulsory that physicians can only recommend marijuana to patients with whom s/he has had a prior counselling relationship.
Contact Details for Colorado Medical Marijuana Law
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530