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Colorado Heroin Laws

For most of us, heroin is a mysterious drug, both demonized and glorified in movies, books, and on TV. Maybe you’ve seen films or TV series depicting the inner workings of the drug trade. Or you’ve read about musicians who have used or abused heroin. And while social attitudes might be trending toward more leniency when it comes to some recreational drug use, heroin possession and sale remains illegal under both federal and Rocky Mountain State drug laws. Here is a brief summary of heroin laws in Colorado.

Heroin Laws in Colorado

Depending on where you live, the particulars of state drug laws can vary. The following table outlines Colorado's heroin laws.

Code Section

COLO. REV. STAT. §18-18-101, et seq.: Uniform Controlled Substances Act

COLO. REV. STAT. §18-18-405: Unlawful Distribution, Manufacturing, Dispensing, or Sale


Class 3 felony; Subsequent Offense: twice or more within 6 months and amount greater than 28.5 g.: Defendant shall be sentenced to the Dept. of Corrections for at least the minimum and fined no less than $1000 but not over $500,000 with no probation or suspension


Class 3 felony; Sale to minor within 1000 ft. of school or on public property: Dept. of Corrections for minimum 5 yrs.; Subsequent offense near school: 20 yrs.



Heroin is a Schedule I drug, meaning it is criminalized at both the state and federal levels. These restrictions cover everything from manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution all the way down the chain to simple possession. Drug charge convictions, especially for dealing, can carry severe penalties including significant prison time and heavy fines. As an example, the possible penalties for heroin sale in Colorado are severe, ranging from two to 24 years in prison, and fines up to $750,000. However, some jurisdictions, and Colorado is one, have recently set up specialized “drug courts” that can allow first- and second-time drug crime defendants to enter into drug treatment programs in lieu lengthy jail sentences.

Colorado Heroin Laws: Related Resources

As Coloradans know well, our drug laws can change, often as our social norms on drugs in general do. If you or someone you know may have a substance abuse or drug problem, Colorado's Department of Human Services has online, phone, and in-person resources. If you would like legal assistance regarding a drug matter, you can contact a Colorado drug crime attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and information on this topic.

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