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Colorado Marijuana Laws

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use both by enacting laws and by amending its state constitution. Ever since then, people have been curious about how the law works. How much can I buy? Who can I buy from? Can I grow and/or sell it? Before making any decisions, make sure you know how the Rocky Mountain State's new laws work.

It's also important to remember that marijuana remains illegal under federal law under the Controlled Substance Act and, regardless of what a state's marijuana laws say, federal law will always supersede. So far, federal law enforcement agencies have left policing marijuana within the state to Colorado authorities, but it still enforces restrictions on cases of interstate pot possession, manufacturing, cultivation and distribution.

Overview of Colorado Marijuana Laws

Marijuana possession and sale are legal in Colorado, within certain limits. All buyers must be 21, and the Department of Revenue regulates all licensing of marijuana establishments. The following table outlines Colorado’s marijuana laws.

Statutes

Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-18-406 (offenses relating to marijuana and marijuana concentrate)

Colorado Revised Statutes Section 12-43.4-301 (licensing requirements for marijuana establishments)

Colorado State Constitution, Article XVIII, Section 16 (personal use and regulation of marijuana)

Penalties

Personal Use Possession:

1-2 oz: Drug Petty Offense punishable by up to $100 in fines.

Open/Public Display or Use of 2 oz or Less: Drug Petty Offense punishable by up to $100 in fines and up to 24 hours of community service.

2-6 oz: Level 2 Drug Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $750 in fines.

6-12 oz: Level 1 Drug Misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

12 oz or More: Level 4 Drug Felony punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $100,000 in fines.

Sale:

Transfer of 1 oz or Less With No Remuneration: No Penalty

Under 4 oz: Level 1 Drug Misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

4-12 oz: Level 4 Drug Felony punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $100,00 in fines.

12 oz - 5 lbs: Level 3 Drug Felony punishable by up to 4 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.

5-50 lbs: Level 2 Drug Felony punishable by up to 8 years in jail and up to $750,000 in fines.

Over 50 lbs: Level 1 Drug Felony punishable by up to 32 years in jail and up to $1 million in fines.

1-6 oz to a Minor: Level 3 Drug Felony punishable by up to 4 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.

3 oz - 2.5 lbs to a Minor: Level 2 Drug Felony punishable by up to 8 years in jail and up to $750,000 in fines.

Over 2.5 lbs to a Minor: Level 1 Drug Felony punishable by up to 32 years jail and up to $1 million in fines.

Unlicensed Cultivation:

6 Plants or Fewer: Level 1 Drug Misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

6-30 Plants: Level 4 Drug Felony punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines.

Over 30 Plants: Level 3 Drug Felony punishable by up to 4 years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources for Colorado Marijuana Laws

Free Review

Coloradans know more than most that state marijuana laws can change frequently. If you want to stay current on Colorado marijuana laws and ensure a strong defense if you end up facing charges, you should reach out to an expert criminal defense attorney familiar with the laws of your state. You can find one today and even receive a preliminary evaluation of your situation at absolutely no charge to you.

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