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.