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Colorado Marijuana Laws

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use, and 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. Here is a brief summary of Colorado’s marijuana laws as they currently stand.

Marijuana Laws in Colorado

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

Code Section

COLO. REV. STAT. §12-43.4-101, et seq.: Colorado Retail Marijuana Code

Colorado State Constitution, Article XVIII, Section 16: Personal Use and Regulation of Marijuana


Personal Use

One oz or less: no penalty

1 - 2 oz: petty offense, $100 fine

Open and public displays or uses of less than 2 oz: petty offense, 15 days jail, $100 fine

2 - 6 oz: misdemeanor, 1 year jail. $1,000 fine

6 - 12 oz: misdemeanor, 18 months jail, $10,000 fine

More than 12 oz: felony, 1 - 1.5 years jail, $100,000 fine


Transfer of one oz or less for no remuneration: no penalty

5 lbs or less: felony, 1 - 3 years jail, $100,000 fine

5 - 100 lbs: felony, 2 - 6 years jail, $500,000 fine

100 lbs or more, felony, 4 - 12 years jail, $75,000 fine

5 lbs or more to a minor: felony, 3 - 12 years jail, $75,000 fine


6 plants or fewer: no penalty

More than 6 but fewer than 30 plants: felony, 2 - 6 years jail, $500,000 fine

Visitors to Colorado would understand pot is not treated the same by other state marijuana laws and remains illegal under federal law by way of the Controlled Substance Act. And regardless of what a state’s marijuana laws say, federal law will always supersede state law. Thus far, federal law enforcement agencies have left policing marijuana within the state to Colorado authorities, but the federal government hasn’t given up on enforcing restrictions on interstate cases of pot possession, manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution.

Related Resources for Colorado Marijuana Laws:

Coloradans know more than most that state marijuana laws can change frequently. If you would like legal assistance with a drug matter, you can Colorado drug crime attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s drug charges section for more articles and information on this topic. And if you or someone you know would like help with a substance abuse problem, the Colorado's Department of Human Services can provide drug treatment resources.

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