Colorado LSD Laws

In Colorado, anyone who unlawfully uses, sells, or has LSD in their possession is guilty of a criminal offense. Under Colorado drug laws, the penalties for LSD possession depends on the amount of LSD found, whether it was intended for personal use or sale. Drug possession is generally a misdemeanor offense; however, possession with intent to distribute is a felony. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

1. What is LSD?

LSD is lysergic acid diethylamide. LSD, also known as “acid” is a psychedelic drug generally taken for recreational use. Users report altered perceptions, moods, feelings and hallucinatory sensations, sounds, and images. LSD comes is chemically manufactured from lysergic acid, which may occur naturally. The acid may come in a liquid form and dropped onto absorbent blotter paper or sugar cubes, or sold as gelatin squares or small tablets.

Adverse effects of LSD include anxiety, paranoia, negative feelings, panic attacks, mood swings, and delusions. Some users refer to an adverse LSD experience as a “bad trip.”

Under Colorado law, controlled substances include illegal drugs, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and synthetic drugs. Controlled substances in Colorado are classified by schedule, based on their medically accepted uses and potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical use, lack accepted safety for use under medical conditions, and have a high potential for abuse. LSD is a schedule I drug. Other schedule 1 hallucinogenic drugs include psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, PCP, and mescaline.1

2. What are the legal uses of LSD?

There are no currently accepted medical uses for LSD in the United States. LSD cannot be prescribed by a licensed provider or purchased from a pharmacy. It is unlawful to possess, sell, distribute, or manufacture LSD in Colorado.

3. What are the penalties for the unlawful use of LSD?

Under Colorado law, the unauthorized use of a controlled substance, including LSD, is a level 2 drug misdemeanor. Under CRS 18-18-404, before March 1, 2020, the penalties for the use of LSD include a fine of up to $750 and up to 12 months in jail. However, if it is your first drug offense, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program to have your charges dismissed if you successfully complete a drug education and treatment program.

Starting March 1, 2020, the punishment is:

  • Probation of up to 1 year;
  • Possibly 120 days in jail; and
  • Up to $500

But for a 3rd or subsequent offense, up to 180 days in jail.

4. What are the penalties for the unlawful possession of LSD?

Under Colorado law, the unlawful possession of a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance is a level 4 drug felony. Under CRS 18-18-403.5, the penalties for possession of LSD include from 6 to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. However, if it is your first drug offense, you may be eligible for “wobbler” sentencing. The court will defer your sentencing to allow you to complete a drug treatment program. Upon successful completion of a court-approved drug treatment program, and if you did not violate your probation terms, you may be able to have your felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

5. What are the penalties for the unlawful sale or distribution of LSD?

Under Colorado law, the unlawful distribution, manufacture, or sale of a schedule I controlled substance, including LSD, is a felony. Under CRS 18-18-405, the penalties for sale or distribution of LSD depends on the amount of LSD and any material, compound or mixture involved.

Amount of LSD

Not more than 14 grams

More than 14 grams, but not more than 225 grams

More than 225 grams

Drug Felony Level

Level 3 Drug Felony

Level 2 Drug Felony

Level 1 Drug Felony

Prison Time

2 to 4 Years

4 to 8 Years

8 to 32 Years


$2,000 to $500,000

$3,000 to $750,000

$5,000 to $1 million

It is also a level 1 drug felony to sell, dispense, or distribute any LSD to a minor who is at least two years younger than you.

If you are incarcerated, on parole or on probation for a prior felony, a conviction for selling LSD may result in aggravated drug sentencing with increased penalties.

6. Can I avoid jail time for an LSD drug charge?

Simple use of LSD may only result in a misdemeanor drug charge. A level 2 drug misdemeanor has the potential for jail time; however, in most cases, you will only have to pay a simple fine and can avoid jail time.

If it is your first offense for unlawful LSD use or possession, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program.2 A drug diversion program will defer your court action until you complete a court-approved treatment program. Upon successful completion, you may have your misdemeanor drug charges dropped. If charged with a low-level drug felony, you may be placed on probation while you complete a court-approved drug treatment and education program. Upon successful completion, you may have your felony drug charges reduced to misdemeanor drug possession.3

However, you may not be eligible for a diversion program or sentencing reduction if you have a prior conviction for a crime of violence, two or more prior felony drug convictions, or are ineligible for probation because of prior offenses. You may also be ineligible if you were in possession of more than 4 grams or LSD.

7. What are defenses to LSD criminal charges?

There are a number of possible defenses to criminal charges for LSD possession or sale. Common drug crime defenses include:

  • The LSD belonged to someone else
  • The LSD was not in an area within your control
  • The police found LSD as part of an unlawful search or seizure

Call us for help...

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If you were arrested for possession or sale of LSD, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal drug offenses. Our legal staff can also help in seeking bail or an OR release at any of the state jails, including the Summit County Jail. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.

Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 18-18-203(2)(c)
  2. C.R.S. 18-1.3-101
  3. C.R.S. 18-1.3-102

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