Recreational marijuana use has been a hot topic in local and national news since Colorado voters legalized its recreational use with Amendment 64 in 2012. There has been no shortage of critics of legalization, nor has there been a dip in support. In fact, recent polls indicate Colorado voters have little regret over their decision to legalize recreational use, and, with the most recent election cycle, several other states have joined in legalizing recreational marijuana use. While the current federal government administration has done little to indicate how it will proceed with legalized recreational marijuana, other states where recreational use is not legal have also entered the fray by challenging legalized recreational measures citing criminal activity resulting from it. According to an article in the Denver Post, the Colorado House also cited criminal activity when it recently approved measures to limit private marijuana growth across the state.
Proposed New Limits
Currently, medical marijuana patients and caregivers can grow up to 99 plants that some law enforcement officials say is a loophole able to be exploited by international crime rings. They claim that people from other states and countries can come into Colorado and exploit the law to create legal marijuana growing operations that produce marijuana to be sold illegally. The proposed law would set a statewide limit of 16 plants per home, which is a significant reduction in the number of plants allowed. The proposed law would also allow local governments to impose stricter limits on marijuana growth and sales, which many locations already do. For instance, Denver has limited growth to 12 plants per home. The proposed law would allow licensed medical marijuana caregivers to continue to grow more than 16 plants, but anything in excess of the 16-plant limit would need to be grown in areas zoned for commercial marijuana growth. Before an amendment to make the plant cap 16, the original proposed legislation would have only allowed 12 plants per home.
The measure passed with bipartisan support, but some legislators that voted against the measure indicated that they did so over concerns that they are taking too broad of an action that may have little impact on the organized crime industry while critically affecting medical marijuana users’ access to marijuana. These proposed legislative changes would still need to be approved by the Colorado Senate and signed into law by the governor before taking effect.
Legal Assistance with Marijuana-Related Charges
While recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is still governed by strict state and local laws that you must abide by. If you have been charged with violating these laws, it is important to work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney to defend against them. A conviction for violating these laws can have severe consequences, including hefty fines and potentially lengthy jail time. If you have been charged with marijuana-related drug crimes, or other drug crimes, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about what options might be available to you in your defense.