In 2012, Amendment 64 made marijuana for personal use legal in Colorado. Today, 18 states have followed suite and legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana. Technically, under federal law, possession of marijuana is still a crime, but under state law in many states it is legal to possess and cultivate certain quantities of marijuana. Colorado is one of these states.
The laws surrounding the possession and cultivation of marijuana vary from state to state. Colorado has fairly lose laws surrounding the possession of marijuana, but not the most liberal by far.
In Colorado, the drastic changes made to the current marijuana laws were made to Section 3 and Section 4 of Article 18 in the Colorado State Constitution. Section 3 mainly applied to personal growth and use of marijuana, as well as the growth of cannabis by medical marijuana patient caregivers.
Under Amendment 64, Section 3 residents in Colorado who are over the age of 21 are legally allowed to possess and grow up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use however is still a criminal offense in Colorado. Public display and/or use of marijuana is illegal for both medical marijuana patients and recreational users.
Amendment 64, section 3 also permitted Colorado residents to begin growing marijuana either for personal use, or as a caregiver for a medical marijuana patient. Under Amendment 64, those who choose to grow and cultivate marijuana plants are permitted to grow up to six separate marijuana plants. Any more than six plants is punishable by Colorado state law, whether the person is growing for personal or medicinal use.
Changes to section 4 of Title 18 redefined the definition of industrial hemp in Colorado. Although changes haven’t taken place yet regarding this amendment, the new legislation defines industrial hemp as part of a cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC. Once these new laws go into effect in 2014, farmers will be allowed to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for a wide variety of uses. Colorado is already in the works of creating cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities and retail stores so they can properly regulate the growth and distribution of hemp.
The largest poll regarding the new amendment, taken by the Public Polling Policy, showed that 58% of residents in Colorado agreed with the changes to the state’s Constitution and support the legalization of marijuana in their state.