While laws surrounding marijuana in Colorado have relaxed over the years, do not take this as a false sense of security – thinking that drugs are now just legal and that there are no repercussions after getting caught. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In this post, we are going to set the record straight on three different scenarios.
No. 1: Marijuana possession is legal in limited circumstances
While it is legal to smoke and buy marijuana in Colorado, there are very specific rules around what is legal. For example, you cannot:
- Have more than an ounce on you at a time, unless you are a medical marijuana patient.
- Drive while you are suspected of being stoned.
- Attempt to mail marijuana.
- Smoke in most public places, including parks and ski slope areas.
Failing to abide by the laws surrounding possession and use can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. For example, attempting to mail marijuana is actually a felony and it is still illegal for an individual to sell marijuana. You have to have a license to sell marijuana.
No. 2: The governor is looking at possibly overturning some convictions
Gov. John Hickenlooper is looking at the possibility of releasing 40 people from prison. All 40 of these people are those who are serving time for drug-related offenses. Had these people been caught doing the same thing today, they would not be breaking the law.
However, there are way more than 40 people in Colorado prisons for crimes related to marijuana – and certainly other drugs. So why are these people not being offered the opportunity for possible early release? Because other drugs are still illegal and the possession laws around marijuana are still strict.
No. 3: A drug charge on your criminal record still looks bad
The bottom line is that drug charges still happen in Colorado and the consequences can be detrimental to your future. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you are now in the clear.
Also – while marijuana use is legal in limited circumstances, this does not mean it is a now free for all. For example, if you are caught with more than an ounce, or you are caught going store-to-store to buy large amounts of marijuana to sell on your own, you will still end up facing criminal charges. These are ones that can impact your entire life and put limitations on where you can live and work in the future.