Marijuana is the legal term for cannabis and it is legal in Colorado for medicinal and recreational purposes. Earlier it was illegal but after the Amendment 64 on November 6, 2012, it became legal in January 2014. Due to this policy, Colorado has become a hot spot for cannabis tourism, where people come here to use the Marijuana available at various retail stores. During the first year of implementation, Colorado's legal marijuana market has reached total sales of more than $700 million.
Let's go through the history of changing laws in Colorado and how they facilitated other states to follow the norm -
Prohibition Period (1917 - 1975)
The use of Marijuana had been banned in Colorado since the early twentieth century. In November 1914, the voters of Colorado voted for the approval of Amendment 22 of Colorado Constitution. It was known as Prohibition amendment and included Alcohol and other intoxicating substances like cannabis and hemp etc. It started an era of prohibition beginning on January 1, 1916, and later on December 18, 1917, a Prohibition amendment Eighteenth was proposed by the Congress.
Since Marijuana and other intoxicating stuff were banned in the country, it paved the way for different criminal and gangsters to run a drug business and make lots of money. The federal bureau of Narcotics and Denver Police Department were constantly fighting with such gangs and common people were finding them sandwiched between them. It led some people to initiate a movement for the decriminalization of Cannabis so that the illegal business will stop and our law agencies will be freed on catching a criminal. It will further demotivate the criminals to deal in cannabis as people will not purchase from them at high rates because they can purchase directly from a licensed store.
So in 1975 after more than a decade-long decriminalization campaign in the whole country, Marijuana consumption was decriminalized. One most noted person who supported the movement was Deputy District Attorney of Pitkin County, Mr, Jay Moore. he helped in winning over the legislature's republican leadership by his arguments as to money wasted on maintaining the law by the enforcement agencies.
Medical Marijuana (2000)
On November 7, 2000, almost 54% voters of Colorado voted in the favor of Amendment 20. This amendment allowed the use of Marijuana for medicinal purpose. Now the patients could use it after the doctor's written approval. According to this law, A patient may possess up to 2 ounces (56.69 grams) of medicinal Marijuana and may grow up to not more than six marijuana plants (not more than three flowering plants at a moment). Those patients who are caught with more than the allowed limit may argue about the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" but they are not protected under the law because of those persons who stay under the limit and follow the guidelines.
The doctors can recommend allowing their patients to have additional marijuana or grow additional plants, depending upon their specific medical needs.
There are several diseases which are recognized for marijuana use in Colorado. cancer, chronic pain, chronic nervous system disorders, cachexia, epilepsy, and some disorders like glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, seizures, HIV and AIDS, nausea, and muscle spasticity. Furthermore, the patients cannot use the marijuana openly and or in any place in plain public view. They must not drive any vehicle after using the marijuana too. In Colorado, the medicinal marijuana cannot be sold on general pharmacy but only from a government recognized caregiver or a non-state-affiliated club known as a dispensary. These dispensaries offer a range of marijuana strains with different qualities. Some dispensaries even offer the seeds to the patients who want to grow the plant at their residence.
Recreational Marijuana (2012)
Amendment 64 was a controversial amendment and it legalized the use of recreational marijuana for adults more than 21 years old. Now individuals can grow up to six marijuana plants (not more than three flowering plants) at a private residence. He will be the legal owner of that grown marijuana. He can also possess up to one ounce of marijuana while traveling and he can also give it as a gift to another adult 21 years or older.
Amendment 64 also allows for licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and retail stores. Tourists and visitors can purchase the marijuana and use it, but they may face persecution if they are found with marijuana in the adjacent state. The Denver airport has completely banned the possession of marijuana but they have admitted that it has not charged a single person with possession and they have never seized any marijuana after the ban came into effect.
Colorado has similar laws regarding driving while impaired by any drugs. Although it took almost six attempts and three years to pass to marijuana measures for intoxication. At last, the lawmakers decided on a nanogram limit in the bloodArticle Submission, Today the Colorado clarifies that the judge can convict a person of marijuana intoxication if they have more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. But the anti-marijuana activists are arguing that this limit is too high to allow a person driving the vehicles and DUI attorney In Colorado can easily save their clients from getting the punishment.