Marijuana Law In Colorado: What You Need To Know
March 29, 2023
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In Colorado, marijuana is legal. As of January 2020, medical marijuana delivery also became legal in the state. If you look up marijuana delivery services in the area, you may think the delivery of recreational marijuana is perfectly legal, too.
While Colorado is on track to legalize recreational weed delivery by 2021, you’ll find it’s not quite happened yet. Some businesses are attempting recreational marijuana delivery services nonetheless.
The problem is, because this is still an illegal practice in the state, being the delivery driver comes with some very serious risks, including the possibility of being arrested and charged with drug trafficking.
If you’re considering trying to make some extra cash as a weed delivery driver in Colorado, you may want to familiarize yourself with current Colorado laws.
Colorado does allow adults to have a certain amount of marijuana on their person, but the delivery and distribution of marijuana can still be a crime in Colorado.
If you’re caught with more than one ounce of marijuana (if you’re under 21, any amount of marijuana is illegal unless it’s medical), then you are breaking the law.
Any amount that exceeds what is considered “for personal consumption” plus marijuana paraphernalia such as baggies and large quantities of cash may set you up for a Colorado drug trafficking charge.
Drug trafficking is the transportation, sale, and transfer of a controlled substance, and the laws surrounding them are governed by both Colorado and federal laws when you cross state lines.
Many people assume that you can only be charged with drug trafficking if you take drugs across state lines, but the truth is that you can be charged with trafficking if you possess a certain amount of drugs, no matter where you meant to take them.
As mentioned, even though both medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, you can still be charged with drug trafficking. How you are charged depends on the amount of marijuana found in your possession when arrested.
In Colorado, felony drug trafficking charges are broken out by “levels.” Just a few ounces of marijuana or concentrate can elevate you into a felonious territory.
Possession of fewer than 50 pounds of marijuana or less than 25 pounds of marijuana concentrate
Possession of between 5 and 50 pounds of marijuana or between 2.5 and 25 pounds of marijuana concentrate
Possession of between 12 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana or between 6 ounces and 2.5 pounds of marijuana concentrate
Possession of between 4 and 12 ounces of marijuana and 2 and 6 ounces of marijuana concentrate
The sentencing guidelines for these offenses vary, but you can expect general penalties to range from a few months to more than three decades in prison. Furthermore, even the lowest drug trafficking felony conviction could leave you footing a bill of tens of thousands of dollars.
The most serious charge, a level 1 drug felony can land you in prison for up to 32 years and result in fines up to $1,000,000.
You can receive up to 16 years in prison and fines up to $750,000 for a level 2 drug felony.
If found guilty of this felony, then you can be punished by up to 6 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
This level is punishable by between 6 months and 2 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but there are still things associated with it that are illegal. Until that changes, be careful to follow all the laws or face serious legal consequences.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020 and is Lead Counsel rated.