A while back, we posted an article about the recreational use laws in Colorado and why you may still be arrested if you partake. We got a lot of response and follow-up from concerned citizens who thought they were behaving well within their rights and found themselves facing criminal drug charges in both the state and federal docket. Today, we want to add to that post and offer more insight into the laws surrounding the use of marijuana and your rights.
In part one of this post, we discussed how the state recreational use laws affect your job, consumption, how the laws apply only within Colorado’s boundaries, and how it affects immigration charges. Today, we will discuss a little bit more about federal laws you may be subject to, persons who are not covered under the law, special offenders, and legal purchase of your product.
At the Law Offices of Murphy and Price, we have built a practice out of defending the rights of the citizens, tourists, and service members stationed in Colorado Springs. If you have found yourself facing drug charges in any court, contact us to help you build the criminal defense you deserve.
Your Marijuana Rights in Colorado Springs
In the entire state of Colorado, persons over 21 are legally allowed to purchase and consume marijuana in any form for any use. However, like anything else, there are exceptions and limitations. Amendment 64 does not provide a state-wide free-for-all.
When federal laws trump state laws.
Despite the legalization of recreational use in Colorado, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. There are certain situations where federal laws trump state laws regarding marijuana use. For instance, you are not permitted to possess or consume marijuana, in any form, on federal property. This can get a bit tricky when you are exploring the natural beauty that Colorado has to offer. While located in the state of Colorado, most parks, campsites, ski resorts, and natural attractions are national parks or federal property. If you followed the rules and were charged in the federal docket because you hiked onto federal property, contact us for the legal counsel you need to prevent facing federal drug charges.
Other times you may find yourself facing criminal charges while not on federal property include being subject to federal law — federal employee, immigrant, military service member. For more information on marijuana charges and their penalties, read here.
Persons not included.
As the law clearly states, anyone over the age of 21 may legally purchase, possess, consume, and grow marijuana for personal use. This means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21. Anyone over the age of 18 who transfers (as a gift), sells, or distributes marijuana to a minor under the age of 18, faces harsher penalties.
Additionally, military service members and U.S. immigrants are held to federal law. For more information on how Colorado recreational use laws apply to military members, read our post on the topic, here. For more information about laws for immigrants, read here.
Persons who are incarcerated or on probation/ parole are also not covered under the recreational use laws unless specified by the terms of their probation/parole terms. Any person who is incarcerated and found to be in possession of or distributing marijuana faces felony charges and additional prison time, fines, or both.
And, lastly, the laws do apply to visitors and tourists, but are modified. Non-Colorado residents are permitted to legally purchase and possess one-quarter ounce of marijuana. For more information on how the recreational use laws apply to tourists, read more here.
The special offenders’ clause applies to persons who violate a marijuana law under certain circumstances. Like most laws in Colorado (and elsewhere), repeat offenders are considered “habitual offenders” and charges, sentences, and fines may be harsher, and rights may be revoked. For instance, a person who has already been convicted of possession of a grand amount with the intent to distribute may have their right to possess any amount revoked.
When a marijuana violation is committed in conjunction with another aggravating crime, charges and penalties may be harsher and rights revoked. For instance, if legal possession is committed as part of a bigger criminal conspiracy or distribution involves trafficking or a firearm, the person facing charges is a special offender and may receive penalties at the judge’s discretion.
Legal purchase of marijuana.
Although the purchase is legal in any form, for any reason, it must be purchased from an authorized distributor and legal source. It is still illegal to buy, sell, or transfer marijuana between unauthorized persons or entities.
If you have found yourself in any of these situations and are facing criminal drug charges in Colorado Springs, contact the experienced legal team who will aggressively defend your rights. Contact us so we can begin building your defense today.