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The various and ever-changing laws surrounding medical marijuana in Colorado can be quite tasking for the average patient. With the vast amount of information available on the internet, it is usually possible to stay abreast of any recent changes made by the state. The basic rules and regulations surrounding medical marijuana in Colorado center around how much is considered legal, where a person can have it and how much they are allowed to grow.
First, no more than two ounces of any usable form of marijuana is allowed at any time. Patients and/or caregivers are allowed six plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana. Patients and caregivers must be able to present a state-issued medical marijuana card if ever questioned by law officials and must at all times remain within the set state limits for quantity of marijuana. There is one stipulation to the six plant rule, however. The state will allow patients or caregivers to grow or possess more than the limit and be protected from prosecution provided that proof can be given that the patient has a more serious, debilitating condition that requires more than the legal amount. This must be cleared by the state and patients are strongly encouraged to stay within the six plan limit in order to protect themselves from prosecution.
With regard to medical marijuana registry cards, it is possible for a medical marijuana patient to be protected under Colorado law if they have already received a doctor’s recommendation but have not yet received their card. Patients are encouraged to apply for their cards as soon as the recommendation has been given, however, in order to avoid any state or local prosecution for possession. Federal prosecution is another matter entirely. It is important to note that even if a patient is licenses by the state for medical marijuana use, marijuana is still considered an illegal substance in federal courts and a patient can still be prosecuted under federal law.
This does not mean that patients who can prove the need for marijuana for medical use who are staying strictly within the state and local guidelines will be sought out by the feds. As a general rule, the DEA tends to not get involved with cases involving less than 100 plants. Patients who follow some basic rules of thumb guidelines when it comes to possessing and growing medical marijuana can keep themselves out of the prosecution limelight.
First, keep from any non-medical cultivation or distribution of marijuana. The quickest way onto the federal radar is to subsidize your marijuana operation with the sale of marijuana to others for recreational use. Next, be sure to keep your medical marijuana clearly labeled, stating “Marijuana For Medical Use Only Under Colorado Law” clearly on the package. Keeping the product clearly labeled will assist law officials if they have questions. It is also wise to post a copy of your medical marijuana card as well as a copy of the state laws at the entrance to your medical marijuana garden in the event that law officials do enter your home with questions. Remember also that while medical marijuana is considered legal under state laws, it is still considered a federal offense and public use of the substance is prohibited.
Having a clear understanding of state and local laws regarding medical marijuana in Colorado will make an interaction with law officials a much easier one for both parties involved.