Colorado is a recreational use state, allowing adults over the age of 21 to make their own choices regarding consumption of cannabis for recreational use. Of course, as with any overarching headline, it comes with subtext. In many of our recent previous posts, we have covered, in great detail, Colorado’s recreational use laws, how they apply to you, and how you may find yourself facing drug charges. We continue to get a flood of questions from various populations on the subject, and are quickly realizing the waters are still pretty murky on the subject. In today’s post, we are going to discuss some of the ways Colorado natives have found themselves facing criminal charges and family court cases when Colorado Child Protective Services gets involved.
At the Law Offices of Murphy & Price, it is our intent to use or blog as a platform to inform the people of the laws and their rights. If you are facing criminal drug charges or child abuse or endangerment charges related to marijuana use or possession, contact us today. We will begin building your defense at the time of your complimentary consultation and aggressively defend your right to parent and keeping your record clean.
Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors
Colorado law is clear that to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis in any form, the person must be over the age of 21 and purchase from a legal source. Selling or sharing your marijuana with any person under the age of 21 may result in felony charges including sale of a controlled substance to a minor or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The best thing to do is to let everyone you know to purchase and use their own and avoid any parties where there are underage people.
Drug Testing at Birth
According to the state of Colorado, there is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. While the state recognizes that recreational use is legal for people over the age of 21, and it is not expressly illegal to use marijuana during pregnancy, mothers or newborns who test positive for THC at the time of birth is considered child abuse by exposure to a controlled substance and is grounds for removal of the child from the home. In most cases, where newborns or their mothers test positive for THC and there are no other concerns, the child will likely not be removed from the home, but CPS will have an open record and reasonable suspicion to look into other conditions.
Exposure to Controlled Substances
Parental use of controlled substances around their children, in the presence of their children, or caring for their children while under the influence can result in criminal neglect or child abuse, based on other factors. While marijuana is legal for recreational use by Colorado adults, it is still considered a controlled substance, and being under the influence while caring for your child puts you at risk of criminal charges.
Driving impaired is grounds for a whole list of criminal charges, including DWAI. When children are involved, matters can take a turn for the worst. One of our previous posts discussed the potential outcome of a DUI with a child in the vehicle and the charges and sentences are quite similar regardless of what substance the driver is under the influence of. If a child is in the vehicle and the driver is cited for a DWAI, it can be escalated to an aggravated DWAI, carrying a harsher sentence, and CPS investigation.
Minors who are accused of attempting to buy, carry, sell, or use marijuana in any form, face minor-in-possession charges. Minors who are arrested or charged with such offenses face penalties that can follow them throughout their lives. Students can be suspended or expelled while also facing criminal charges, and it may have an impact on future college attendance and financial aid. Charges and sentencing will vary based on the substance, how much they have, and how many other infractions they have been charged with.
According to Colorado recreational use laws, cannabis and children do not mix. People under the age of 21 are strictly prohibited from buying, selling, possessing, using, or being exposed to marijuana in any form. If you or your child are facing drug charges related to marijuana use, give the aggressive legal team at Murphy and Price, LLP a call to schedule your complimentary consultation today. We will begin building the legal defense that you deserve.