If you enjoy smoking marijuana and you live in the state of Colorado, you were probably pleased when the voter amendment allowing recreational use of marijuana was approved a few years ago. However, that doesn't mean that arrests for marijuana-related offenses have stopped – over 1000 people were charged with possession in the year after Amendment 64 passed. There are several reasons why arrests are still happening, and one of them might be some confusion over the details of the law. While the new amendment, which legalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, may seem simple at first, there are some complexities that you may have missed. Take a look at what you need to know to avoid running afoul of marijuana laws in Colorado.
Home Growth Mistakes
One of the benefits of Amendment 64 is that you can now grow your own marijuana – this is especially beneficial to those who don't live in an area where there are marijuana dispensaries, as well as people who just want to save money or who like to garden. However, there are some very specific rules that you have to follow in order to stay on the right side of the law.
Colorado allows up to six cannabis plants per adult. However, if you live with several adults, be aware that local laws may cap the amount of plants you can grow – in Denver, for example, two or more adults in a household are limited to a dozen plants. What's more, only three of your plants can be in a flowering stage at any one time. Your plants also have to be kept in an enclosed, locked space – they can't be accessible to the public, so growing them in your backyard is probably out. You can only buy seeds or cuttings from licensed dispensaries, and you can't sell the marijuana that you grow, though you are allowed to gift a small amount to friends or family. Failure to follow any of these rules can land you on the wrong side of the law.
Mixing And Matching Mistakes
The law limits possession or sale to one ounce, or 28 grams, which is straightforward if you're only buying buds from the marijuana flower to smoke. However, the law also allows you to buy edibles, like marijuana brownies, or concentrates, like marijuana wax. It's here that people can sometimes make mistakes that result in a violation of the law.
As things stand right now, one gram of concentrate is equal to one gram of marijuana flower, and ten 100 mg edibles are equal to one gram of marijuana flower. However, those rules are going to change shortly. As of October 1st 2016, an ounce of flower will be considered equivalent to eight grams of concentrate or 800 grams of edibles. That means that if you buy two grams of concentrate, it will count the same as a quarter of an ounce. These rules are changing because the strength of the THC in edibles and concentrates is stronger than what's found in the flower. However, they make purchasing and possessing legally more complicated. You'll need to be sure to check your math to ensure that you remain within the legal limits.
Driving While High
You're legal to possess limited amounts of marijuana on your property and use it there. However, it remains illegal to use marijuana while driving, or to drive while under the influence. The law lists a specific blood test result for a DUI – five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your whole bloodstream. However, officers can also still arrest you just for observable impairment, even without a blood test.
What's more, marijuana paraphernalia, a marijuana container with an open or broken seal, or any other evidence that marijuana has been consumed inside the car violates the state's open container laws – it's no different than driving around with an open beer or bottle of liquor. One more thing to keep in mind is that if you're picked up for driving under the influence or with an open container, and there are children in your car, you may also be charged with child abuse or endangerment.
Colorado's Amendment 64 makes life easier for recreational marijuana smokers, but it's not a blank check, and if you're not careful, you can still find yourself charged with a marijuana-related crime. If that happens, you'll need an experienced marijuana defense attorney like Russ Jones Attorney At Law to help you argue your case in court.Share