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Colorado Legalizes Marijuana

On November 6, 2012, Amendment 64 was passed in the state of Colorado making marijuana legal in the state, a first of it's kind for Colorado and America. Starting January 1, 2014, stores and business owners of Colorado were able to open their doors and sell marijuana legally to any one who wanted to buy it. Under this new law, adults can now grow and possess the drug for personal use without impunity provided they obey the law restrictions of the amendment.

It's important to keep in mind that even though Colorado has legalized marijuana, federal law still prohibits the use of the drug and classifies it   as an illegal controlled substance unless used for medicinal purposes.

Amendment 64: An Overview
This law basically governs the commercial cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana in a similar fashion to alcohol which means the Colorado Constitution was granted the right to overturn the existing state prohibition of marijuana and supersede it with a system of taxation and regulation. Personal use, possession, and limited home growing of marijuana is legal for adults 21 years of age and older. To be clear an adult is defined as any person over the age of 21.

Even though marijuana is now legal in Colorado, note there are strict guidelines to follow in order to stay within the law. Below is a brief summary.

• Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is considered legal for adults. Any amount over an ounce is not.

• Adults can grow up to 6 marijuana plants in their home provided they are contained in an enclosed, locked space.

• Adults can legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow (as long as it stays where it was grown)

• It's legal for adults to give away marijuana to other adults (including marijuana that has been personally grown), but it's illegal to sell or receive money in exchange of marijuana.

• Public consumption of marijuana is strictly prohibited.

• All sales of the drug are subject to an excise tax rate, not to exceed 15%.

• Driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado is still a crime.

• Consumption is permitted in a manner similar to alcohol, with equivalent offenses prescribed for driving under the influence.

The new legislation does not apply to the use of medical marijuana or change existing medical marijuana laws for patients, caregivers, and medical marijuana businesses. Medical marijuana will also be exempt from the excise tax placed on non-medical marijuana.

In response to amendment 64, the state of Colorado will set up a system of cultivators, product manufacturers, and retail establishments to distribute marijuana. It also allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.

Marijuana Possession and Use Laws
Amendment 64 allows for the possession of one ounce of marijuana only. Anything amount over that intended for personal use (not public) is considered a criminal offense in Colorado. The penalties for possession depend on the amount possessed and are categorized below.

More than one ounce, but less than two ounces
Class two petty offense.
Up to $100 fine.

Public display or use of less than two ounces
Class two petty offense.
Up to $100 fine.
Up to 15 days in jail.

Public display or use of more than two ounces
Class two misdemeanor.

Possessing between two and six ounces
Class two misdemeanor.
Fines between $250 and $1,000.
3 to 12 months in jail.

Possessing between six and 12 ounces
Class one misdemeanor.
Fines between $500 and $5,000.
6 to 18 months in jail.

Possessing more than 12 ounces
Class six felony.
Fines between $1,000 and $100,000.
1 to 2 years in jail.

Possessing up to 5 pounds
Class five felony.
Fines between $1,000 and $100,000.
1 and 3 years in jail.

Possessing between 5 and 100 pounds
Class four felony.
Fines between $2,000 and $500,000.
2 to 6 years in jail.

Possessing more than 100 pounds of marijuana
and subsequent convictions
Class three felony.
Fines between $3,000 and $750,000.
4 to 12 years in jail.

Amendment 64 Outline
6 Month Results After
Legalized Marijuana in Colorado
Crime Down - Revenue Up
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Marijuana Purchase Laws

• Anyone can purchase, possess or consume marijuana in Colorado even if they are not a Colorado resident provided they are an adult over 21 years of age and abide by state laws.

• Residents of other states will be restricted to purchasing no more than Ό ounce or marijuana or 7 grams in a single transaction.

The intent is to prevent people from other states from stockpiling marijuana for export.

• Most recreational stores will only allow an individual to purchase one once a day.

There's no stopping you from visiting more than one store a day and buying from each of them as long as you don't possess more than 1 ounce.