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Can Medical Marijuana Use Affect My Drug Crime Case in Colorado Springs?

In recent years, many states have taken steps to decriminalize and even legalize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Colorado voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2000. Colorado and Washington state were the first states to pass laws allowing recreational marijuana in 2012, that legalized the cultivation, possession, use, and manufacturing of recreational marijuana within certain limits. As of 2024, nearly half of all states (24 in total, plus the District of Columbia) have enacted similar laws, and another 14 states have enacted legislation allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Even though 88 percent of U.S. adults believe that marijuana use should be legal in some capacity, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. However, just because states like Colorado have allowed for the legal possession and use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes does not mean that there are no limits or regulations on such uses. For example, Colorado state laws prohibit individuals from consuming marijuana in public, driving with an open container of marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana, or possessing more than a certain amount of marijuana at one time (which may be different for different folks depending on the circumstances).

Facing drug charges of any kind can be an overwhelming and concerning experience, especially if this is your first brush with the criminal justice system, or your are facing jail time or serious criminal convictions. If you have been arrested for crimes related to drugs in the Colorado Springs area, reach out to a dedicated and highly qualified drug crimes law firm to discuss your case. Let’s take a closer look at marijuana-related offenses in Colorado and how medical marijuana use can affect your drug crime case.

Expertise of the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

The Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, has been a leading law firm in the legalization and regulation of Colorado’s evolving marijuana laws. Clifton Black has sat on numerous legal panels, works with the City of Colorado Springs regarding their ordinances, and represents many of the licensed marijuana businesses, as well as caregivers, patients, and those charged with violating the criminal statutes, rules, and regulations of legal framework involving marijuana in the state of Colorado.

Understanding Colorado and Colorado Springs Medical Marijuana Laws

Researchers have spent decades studying and exploring the potential health benefits of marijuana use. In Colorado, Physicians may recommend that patients with the following conditions or health challenges use marijuana to help manage and alleviate certain symptoms: epilepsy, seizures, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, chronic pain, nausea, and other physical ailments. Marijuana for medicinal purposes can be consumed in various ways—a patient can smoke, vape, consume with a food product that has been infused with marijuana (edibles), use a liquid (oil or tincture) or spray to deliver it orally or apply it topically to an area of the body. In Colorado, the Department of Public Health & Environment issues medical marijuana cars to patients.

The Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division regulates the licensed dispensaries, marijuana cultivations, and infused manufacturers and requires caregivers to register the location of their marijuana grows. Essentially, this statewide program allows patients with “qualifying, debilitating medical conditions” to receive a registry identification card in order to access medical marijuana. This is a highly regulated process, with strict rules that can be confusing for people to follow in order to obtain marijuana for medical purposes. For example, patients must complete and submit an application, pay the accompanying fee, and renew their medical marijuana card regularly to continue accessing medical marijuana legally. With a valid medical marijuana card, Colorado Springs residents may possess up to two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and up to six marijuana plants (with a maximum of three mature ones). However, the patient or the patient’s caregiver may possess more than the legal amount if doing so is medically necessary in very limited circumstances. If this is the case, they must carry proof (i.e., valid registration documents, an active medical marijuana card, etc.) to show to law enforcement if requested to do so. However, Colorado state law prohibits more than 12 marijuana plants from being grown in a residential dwelling.

When Medical Marijuana Complicates Drug Crime Cases

Selling or possessing with the intent to sell up to 4 ounces of marijuana is considered a Level 1 drug misdemeanor, punishable by between 6 to 18 months in county jail, up to $5,000 in fines, and other potential penalties. However, criminal charges quickly become more serious when a person is cultivating too many plants, possesses too much marijuana, makes a substantial amount of their income, or is involved in other acts outside of what Colorado law allows. Individuals can be charged with level 1 drug felonies that can carry 8 years mandatory prison, up to 32 years per each drug felony class 1.

What happens if a registered primary caregiver is transporting or has possession of more than two ounces of marijuana for their patient’s medicinal use? Colorado’s medical marijuana legal guidelines state, “The constitutional amendment provides an affirmative defense or exception to criminal charges related to the possession or cultivation by a primary caregiver.” In other words, a caregiver may provide information like patient registry numbers, extended plant counts, and other documentation to law enforcement, allowing the officers to verify with the marijuana licensing authority that the caregiver is acting in compliance with Colorado medical marijuana laws. However, numerous individuals have been charged with serious criminal offenses because they believed they were in compliance with the law, when in fact, they were operating outside of what Colorado permits in its regulated marijuana rules and regulations. These situations can be difficult to navigate, so consider enlisting the guidance of a highly qualified and experienced Colorado Springs drug crime attorney to help you clear up any misunderstandings. The Law Offices of Clifton Black PC is well versed in this complicated area of law, and able to adequately defend individuals charged, knowing the defenses permitted in the law.

How a Colorado Springs Drug Crimes Lawyer Can Help You

If you are a patient or a primary caregiver for medical marijuana, an adult permitted to cultivate and use recreational marijuana, or a licensed medical or recreational marijuana business, it’s important to keep clear documentation that attests to your right to possess, cultivate, and manufacture marijuana. For instance, keeping your medical marijuana patient card handy allows you to provide evidence of your right to use medical marijuana. Additionally, carrying a valid medical marijuana card on your person or in your vehicle can help you avoid legal complications in the event that a law enforcement officer pulls you over and discovers marijuana in your possession. Moreover, if law enforcement arrests you for having more than two ounces of marijuana, you and your knowledgeable Colorado Springs drug crime lawyer can identify and present clear documentation that justifies your legal right to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes. No matter what the specific details of your arrest may be, you have the right to enlist the services of a dedicated legal professional who will advocate on behalf of your best interests at every opportunity. As overwhelmed and intimidated as you may feel after your arrest, you do not have to navigate this challenging time alone. Our criminal defense attorneys will remain by your side to answer your questions, address your concerns, and pursue the most appropriate legal defense strategy, protecting your freedom and future.

If you are facing drug crime charges in Colorado Springs, Denver, or most areas in Colorado, you need reliable and effective legal defense attorney services to keep your future as bright as possible. Call The Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., right away at (719) 328-1616 to discuss your case with a highly qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Trusted Attorney Today!

Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Trusted Attorney Today!

Need legal help in business or criminal areas in Colorado? Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our expert attorneys focus in business law and criminal defense, providing clear advice for your specific needs. Benefit from our years of experience as we deliver targeted solutions and defend your rights every step of the way.