What Are Colorado Drug Laws?
Colorado has strict penalties against offenders who violate drug laws. It’s imperative to stay current with the restrictions to avoid facing criminal charges, even for the legal recreational drugs in the state. Skilled criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs explain the current drug laws to keep you informed.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. However, you must be at least 21 years to purchase, possess, or consume recreational or retail marijuana. You can only purchase up to one ounce of the drug from a licensed store at any one time and only carry 2 ounces at a time. It’s a felony for marijuana retail stores to provide retail marijuana to minors.
Medical marijuana is also legal in the state, but you must have a medical marijuana registry identification card. You can obtain it from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. If you’re facing charges for illegally being in possession of medical or recreational marijuana, contact Colorado Springs drug crime lawyers immediately.
Point-of Sale Regulations
When purchasing marijuana from a licensed store, you must present a valid ID to prove you’re at least 21. Minors below 21 aren’t allowed in the restricted area of a retail store. Other regulations revolve around the following:
- Hours of sale: Retail marijuana businesses can be open between 8:00 am and midnight. Municipalities may impose stricter operation hours, so check before heading to a retailer.
- Packaging requirements: Retail and medical marijuana sellers must use resealable, child-resistant, and non-see-through packaging materials to protect children and teens from accidentally consuming marijuana.
- Labeling requirements: The Department of Revenue requires all marijuana products to have the relevant warning label to notify whoever sees it that the product contains marijuana
Skilled drug crime lawyers in Colorado Springs can defend you if you’re a retailer facing drug charges for violating these rules. Contact them as soon as possible to begin a case evaluation.
Consuming Marijuana in Colorado
In Colorado, you can only consume marijuana in designated places despite its legalization:
- Lodging and private accommodation facilities, depending on whether the owners allow the use of the drug on their properties
- Private property like your home. If you live on rented premises, you may need to check with your landlord, as some property owners ban the possession and use of marijuana on their properties.
It is illegal to consume marijuana on federal lands like national parks and forests and public places like sidewalks, business premises, and housing complex common areas. Familiarize yourself with the specific laws in your county, town, or city, as they can vary depending on a jurisdiction’s rules and regulations.
In November 2022, Colorado voted to legalize medical psychedelics, and the law is quickly changing. The two psychoactive components found in “magic mushrooms,” Psilocybin and Psilocin, are now considered legal for medicinal use. The move came after recognition of the potential health benefits of the substance when used in controlled settings.
However, it may take a while before the new system for the legal use of Psilocybin and related drugs is entirely in place. Although permitted and decriminalized, possessing “magic mushrooms” for recreational purposes is still illegal. You may want to consult experienced drug crime attorneys in Colorado before possessing or using the product.
What are the Schedule Classifications of Illegal Drugs in Colorado?
Colorado State is known for its progressive stance on drugs. While it legalizes the possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 years and older, you can face criminal drug charges for possessing the drug under some circumstances. The state also groups all other controlled substances by drug schedules as follows:
- Schedule I: Psilocybin, heroin, PCP, LSD, and other drugs with a high abuse potential and no accepted medical use.
- Schedule II: Cocaine, opium, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and other drugs with a high potential for abuse but with an accepted medical use. Abusing these drugs is associated with severe physical and psychological consequences.
- Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, barbiturates, ketamine, and other drugs with less potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs but can still lead to high dependence levels.
- Schedule IV: Anti-anxiety medications, sleep medications, and other drugs with accepted medical use and lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs.
- Schedule V: Cough syrups and over-the-counter medicines with low amounts of codeine. They have an accepted medicinal use and low abuse potential.
Drug Penalties in Colorado?
The penalties for violating drug laws in Colorado depend on the substances involved, your age, and the action associated with the violation, for example, possession vs. distribution:
Punishments for violating marijuana laws are:
- 6 to 18 months in jail, a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both for fraudulent use of a medical marijuana card
- Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for first-time possession of marijuana on federal land
- DUI penalties for driving while impaired with more than the legal limit of THC in your blood
Other Drug Penalties
The penalties for other drugs depend on the specific drug. For example, you could get fines of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail if caught with under four grams of a Schedule I or II controlled substance. The offense is a misdemeanor until the fourth offense, which elevates to a level 4 drug felony.
If you’re caught selling drugs, you risk getting more severe penalties than just being in possession. Giving them to a minor puts you at risk of a fine of up to $1 million and 32 years in prison. Consult drug crime attorneys in Colorado Springs for representation.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Defending You Against Drug Crimes
Despite legalizing marijuana and other drugs in Colorado, you could face stiff penalties for violating drug laws. If caught in illegal possession or usage of any drug, you should contact experienced criminal defense attorneys in Colorado for legal counsel and representation.
Our law firm provides aggressive defense against drug crimes. We know it can take much work to keep up with Colorado’s drug laws. If you’re facing drug crime charges, we can fight to have your charges dropped or reduced. Call The Lux Law Firm at 719-451-7469 for a FREE case assessment.