How is Marijuana Regulated in Colorado?
Recently, Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana under various rules and regulations. Since the state has become a haven for legal purchasing, airports and most other transportation hubs have created their standards for marijuana possession to curb instances of smuggling.
It’s illegal to pass through the federally controlled TSA with the substance. If you’re facing charges of unlawful possession or use of marijuana, consult lawyers from a Colorado criminal defense law firm for legal guidance and representation.
Transport Security Administration (TSA) Regulations
The TSA recognizes that marijuana and various cannabis-infused products, including CBD oil, are illegal under federal law. As such, TSA officers should report any suspected cases of violation of these rules.
The Administration further notes that its screening procedures are focused on security to detect potential threats to passengers and aviation. While TSA security officials don’t specifically search for marijuana, an illegal substance discovered during the search will be referred to law enforcement authorities.
That means that you could find yourself in trouble with law enforcement officers if you’re found in possession of marijuana in public places. If that happens to you, contact a Colorado Springs marijuana defense lawyer as soon as possible and present your case. They can investigate the circumstances surrounding the charges and help you create a strong defense strategy.
Marijuana Possession While Traveling
The law is clear about marijuana possession while traveling, especially when your destination is out of Colorado. It clearly states that:
- Leaving the state with marijuana or any marijuana product is illegal
- You’re prohibited from bringing marijuana to Denver International Airport or any other airport
- You must not use or be in possession of marijuana in federal parks or on federal land, including national parks and forests, and ski slopes
It’s important that you understand how these regulations affect you and what to do if charged with illegal possession of the substance in public places.
Can I Board an Airplane Carrying a Legal Amount of Marijuana in Colorado?
Despite marijuana being legalized for adults 21 years and older, there are still grey areas around marijuana possession and use in Colorado. It’s no wonder that Colorado Springs marijuana defense attorneys still get many questions on whether it is safe to board a plane in Colorado with marijuana if it is legally obtained.
The best advice for anyone who wants to take the substance on a plane in Colorado is not to do it. Even if you purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary, avoid opening the package until you get home. If driving and caught with an open packet of marijuana, you could face charges for driving under the influence even if the vehicle was not moving.
Where Can I Legally Use Marijuana in Colorado
The law only allows the use of marijuana inside a private residence. If you live in a rented or leased property, you must obtain permission from the owner. Other premises where you can use marijuana are marijuana hospitality businesses or marijuana sales businesses.
However, it’s unlawful to use marijuana anywhere the public may see you. Publicly unrestricted areas like streets, hotel rooms, stadiums, playgrounds, and arenas are also prohibited from marijuana use. Since airports are still public places, it’s unlawful to smoke or consume marijuana openly.
What are the Penalties for Violating Marijuana Possession Laws in Colorado
Marijuana possession offenses generally fall under one of the following categories:
Underage Possession Offenses
Anyone below 21 years must not be in possession of marijuana or marijuana-related products. Being in possession of two ounces is a petty offense, and the penalties depend on whether it’s a first or repeat offense and are:
- Fines of up to $100 or $250
- Substance abuse counseling under a court order
- Community service hours
Possession of Prohibited Amounts of the Substance in Colorado
Penalties for possession of more than the allowed marijuana amounts are as follows:
- Level 2 drug misdemeanor: Possession of between 2 and 6 ounces, or not more than 3 ounces of concentrate marijuana attracts a $50 to $750 fine, up to 364 days in jail, or both
- Level 1 drug misdemeanor: Possession of more than 6 ounces of marijuana or 3 ounces of the concentrated form attracts a jail time of between 6 and 18 months or a fine of between $500 and $5,000. You may also get both penalties
What Are the Possible Defenses Against Marijuana Charges?
When charged with a marijuana-related offense, the prosecutor must prove all the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt for you to get a conviction. A skilled marijuana defense attorney in Colorado Springs will fight aggressively to defend you against the charges.
They can poke holes in the prosecutor’s case by arguing that:
- The amount of marijuana in your possession was incorrectly measured
- You didn’t know that you had the substance in your possession
- The marijuana belonged to someone else, and you were entrapped
- You consumed the marijuana in a private place, not publicly
An Experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney Helping You Fight Marijuana Charges
Facing marijuana charges can be frightening, primarily because the substance is regulated and legalized in the country. The laws around marijuana possession in Colorado are complex, and you need the help of an experienced marijuana defense attorney to beat the charges. They know how the criminal justice system works and can help you navigate it.
Our law firm has an aggressive criminal defense attorney who has been providing legal representation to clients in similar cases for years. If you have been arrested or charged for being in possession or using marijuana illegally, you may face harsh penalties. Contact us to schedule a FREE case assessment to help you get off the hook.