Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis signed legislation recently, increasing the amount of marijuana allowed to be on a person by twice the established amount.
How Does This Marijuana Law Change Things?
This new bill brings greater freedom to adult marijuana consumers by giving that same person the ability to possess up to two ounces of cannabis. Prior to this law being signed, it was classified as a petty offense to hold more than one ounce of marijuana flower or the equivalent amount of concentrates and was punishable with a civil penalty of $100. House Bill 1090 eliminates this penalty and also makes it much easier for those with marijuana convictions to petition the courts to have their records kept confidential or even expunged.
Governor Polis had this to say after signing, “This is a very exciting bill in the vein of criminal justice reform because, for far too long, the consequences for people who had a personal amount of cannabis before it had been legalized still had a long shadow on them for doing something that is fully legal today. They might have something on their record—and, of course, disproportionately people of color— that might get in the way of them getting loans or leases or licenses or jobs or mortgages or many other things.”
Cannabis Charges in Colorado
Private possession by persons 21 years of age or older of up to two ounces of either cannabis flower or the equivalent of marijuana concentrates has no penalty due to the recently signed legislation. Private cultivation of up to six marijuana plants, with no more than three being mature also carries no penalty. The transfer of two ounces or less for no remuneration is once again, no penalty. So what cannabis violations do carry a penalty now, and what’s the price to pay for it?
Possession of more than 2 ounces is a petty drug offense that is now punishable by a maximum fine of $100. The offender would be summoned to a court appearance which would be considered mandatory. Failing to appear in the court is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a much greater fine of up to $750, and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.
Possession of more than 2-6 ounces of marijuana is considered a level 2 drug misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and a fine that can not exceed $700. Possession greater than 6-12 ounces is a level 1 drug misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to eighteen months in jail and a fine of $500 – $5000. Possession greater than 12 ounces is a level 4 drug felony that could land you 6 months – 2 years of jail time and a fine between $1,000-$100,000.
Any person who openly and publicly displays, uses, or consumes 2 ounces of marijuana or less is guilty of a drug petty offense and may be subject to 24 hours of community service as well as a maximum fine of $100.
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