13 years ago voters in the Centennial State approved a measure which allowed the compassionate use of medical marijuana, by qualified patients. Since the induction of that law, Colorado has become a leader in the fight for cannabis rights. Colorado and California are considered the two most relaxed states, when it comes to marijuana laws, medicinal and otherwise. Medical marijuana patients in Colorado are permitted to use, possess and cultivate their medicine, so long as they have a prescription to do so from a doctor. Colorado allows the use of medical marijuana to treat the following list of conditions:
Note: Doctors may recommend the use of cannabis to treat disorders and ailments that are not on the above list. Doctors can recommend this treatment on an as-needed basis.
Patients and caregivers and Colorado are allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants and possess no more than 2 ounces of marijuana. One of the loopholes to the restriction of 2 ounces is that patients can argue in court "affirmative defense of medical necessity." Essentially this breaks down to mean that a patient can argue for their case that their medical condition(s) necessitates that they have more than the allotted 2 ounces. This is an especially handy argument in patients undergoing intense chemotherapy treatment who are subjected to severe nausea. Medical marijuana dispensaries are not permitted to be located within 1,000 feet of a school. Furthermore, Colorado state law mandates that these dispensaries directly oversee at least 70% of the cannabis they distribute.
Questions, comments or concerns regarding Colorado's medical marijuana laws can be directed toward the following agency:
Colorado is one of just two states that actually allows the recreational use of cannabis by individuals who are 18 years of age and older. There are limits on the amount one can possess, however and there are penalties for going over that amount. Possession of one ounce or less results in absolutely no consequences whatsoever. In fact, adults in Colorado can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana from a variety of retailers throughout the state. Openly displaying or using less than 2 ounces of cannabis can result in a petty offense with a maximum $100 fine and up to 15 days in jail. Possessing anywhere from 2 to 6 ounces of bud is a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. 6 to 12 ounces is also a misdemeanor that has a $10,000 fine and the possibility of 18 months incarceration. Any amount of marijuana greater than 12 ounces is a felony offense that can land a person in jail for up to a year-and-a-half with a steep fine of $100,000.
All charges of sale or distribution result in a felony, however the fines and amount of time spent incarcerated vary. Sale or delivery of 5 pounds or less is a sentence of 1 to 3 years with a $100,000 fine. 5 pounds to 100 pounds can result in 2 to 6 years, with a $500,000 fine. Selling or delivering greater than 100 pounds is a sentence of 4 to 12 years with a $75,000 fine. All individuals who are of legal age to use marijuana in Colorado are also allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants. Growing over 6 plants can result in a felony offense that holds 2 to 6 years behind bars and a $500,000 fine.