Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
Colorado law permits adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to two ounces (2 oz.) of marijuana for personal use. But state drug laws prohibit people from possessing or consuming the marijuana in public.1
Therefore if you purchase marijuana from a dispensary, be sure to take it home as soon as possible and do not open the container(s) before getting home. Driving with an open container of marijuana is a traffic infraction carrying $10 to $115 in fines.2
A few Colorado hotels and private rental properties are “420 friendly,” meaning that they do permit people to consume marijuana on the premises. But people should double-check with the specific hotel or “bud and breakfast” about its policies before going there.
State law permits patients with a current and valid medical marijuana card from Colorado to have:
The patient’s primary caregiver may be in possession of this marijuana as well.
Patients and their caregivers may possess more than the legal amount if it is medically necessary. But they have the burden to show that they need the extra quantities.3
The public consumption of up to two ounces of weed is a drug petty offense. The punishment for public marijuana drug use is up to $100 in fines and up to 24 hours of community service.4
The public consumption of more than two ounces of weed is prosecuted as possession under state marijuana law (discussed below). And driving under the influence of marijuana is punished the same as DUI or DWAI of alcohol.
The punishment for marijuana possession (CRS 18-18-406) turns on the amount of pot the person is convicted of having:
Amount of marijuana in Colorado
Marijuana drug possession penalties
|More than 2 oz. up to 6 oz. (or up to 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate)||Level 2 drug misdemeanor:
|More than 6 oz. (or more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate)||Level 1 drug misdemeanor:
Due to a new law (HB 19-1263) that took effect on March 1, 2020, recreational marijuana possession is no longer a drug felony.5
Note that these penalties are laxer than for the possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana. Learn more about drug possession crimes in Colorado (CRS 18-18-403.5).
Ten of the potential defenses to marijuana drug possession charges under CRS 18-18-406 include:
In any criminal case, prosecutors have the burden to prove guilt by a reasonable doubt.
Yes. Marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance, and federal law prohibits any kind of drug possession under 21 USC 844. In practice, the feds rarely prosecute people in Colorado for the recreational possession of marijuana. But they can.6
Yes. Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana use, employers can fire job applicants and employees for testing positive for any drugs or for committing any drug crimes.7
Our legal team is based in Denver, but we represent clients accused of drug offenses throughout the state, including Colorado Springs, Golden, and more. Our criminal justice lawyers fight all kinds of drug possession cases under the Colorado Revised Statutes, including those involving methamphetamine, ketamine, codeine, LSD, and others.
Learn more about Colorado marijuana laws.
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.
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