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Is Marijuana (Pot) Really Legal in Colorado?

In November, Coloradoans overwhelmingly elected to pass Amendment 64. "[Amendment 64] formalizes the amendment as part of the state Constitution and makes legal the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana under Colorado law for adults 21 years of age and older," the Governor's office wrote in a press release. See our Marijuana Possession page for more details.

Governor Hickenlooper signed Amendment 64 on December 10, 2012. So now, it is no longer against Colorado law for people 21 and older to possess less than one ounce of pot for recreational use or to grow up to 6 marijuana plants, in Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver and Jefferson County. It is also no longer illegal according to state laws to "give" pot to another adult over age 21. However, legal sale of marijuana will only be allowed in licensed pot shops, which do not exist yet and are not expected to open for approximately a year. Unlike medical marijuana, users are not required to be licensed.

The new law does not mean you can smoke where ever you want. It is still illegal to use marijuana in public places or on school property in Adams, Weld or Larimer County. So, if you are going to use marijuana, your best bet is to use it at your own residence.

Purchasing it from a non-licensed facility, i.e. a drug dealer, is also still very much illegal.

If you get stopped for a traffic offense and the police find a small amount of pot, you will NOT get cited for possession of marijuana. You can (and will) still be cited for Speeding or whatever traffic offense led to your stop. More importantly, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana and the Driving Under the Influence laws and their increased fines and penalties still apply to marijuana in Boulder and Broomfield County. The state has not yet set a specific threshold to determine when a person is under the influence of pot like they have with alcohol.

Amendment 64 does not supersede federal law which still makes the possession and use of marijuana illegal. The only question remaining is what, if anything, the federal government will do about state legalization.

Lastly, the law is not retroactive so if you have a previous marijuana offense or you are currently on probation, you still have to abide by the terms and conditions of your probation or any other court orders.

For more information regarding Colorado marijuana laws or if you have been charged with Possession or Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, be smart, and contact an experienced attorney at the O'Malley Law Office today at (303)830.0880. Together, we can protect your future.

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