Colorado Legalizes Marijuana
On November 6, 2012, the electorate of Colorado voted 54.83% to 45.17% to legalize marijuana by passing Amendment 64. Colorado joined Washington as one of the first two states to make cannabis a legal substance, making this a landmark change to the way that drug crimes are prosecuted in the United States. Marijuana has historically been illegal in this country, and since 1970 is has been included in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most highly criminalized category of drugs.
Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but its cultivation, possession, use, and sale are still prohibited under federal law. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was quick to assert this position soon after the vote to legalize the drug. The fact that the Federal Government still enforces marijuana criminalization may not, however, have much bearing on the way that the new Colorado law works, given that it is still relatively limited in scope.
What exactly was made legal?
The primary feature of Amendment 64, and the one which will have the greatest effect on most cannabis users in the state, is that it is now legal to possess or use up to one ounce of marijuana. In addition, you may grow as many as six cannabis plants in a private, enclosed and secure facility such as your home, and up to three of the plants may be flowering at any one time. This is in addition to the fact that medical marijuana has been legalized in Colorado.
Not all activities involving marijuana are legal. If, for example, you are found in possession of quantities of marijuana greater than one ounce, you may still be arrested and charged with a crime such as possession with intent to distribute. Don't take any chances with the outcome of an arrest.
Contact us at Clawson & Clawson, LLP, so that we can discuss your case and determine how the terms of Amendment 64 may impact that situation.