Colorado is one of the very first states to have legalized marijuana use, and the state continues to show its dedication to marijuana legalization, now doubling the possession limit for marijuana. The change in Colorado’s marijuana possession limit was signed into law last year, and now the possession limit is now 2 ounces instead of 1 ounce. The new law goes into effect on June 1.
According to the text of Amendment 64, the voters of Colorado overwhelmingly approved the legalization of Marijuana for personal and recreational use. The voters of Colorado also approved the creation of a tightly regulated system for the distribution and sale of Marijuana, which was set to take effect at the beginning of 2014. In the wake of the passage of Amendment 64, several state legislatures have also created systems for regulating and selling Marijuana.Governor Jared Polis just signed a law that increases the amount of cannabis adults can legally possess in Colorado from 1 ounce to 2 ounces. It also streamlines the process for expunging prior convictions for possession of cannabis and extends the power to expunge convictions to other cannabis-related offences. The new law will enter into force immediately. In 2012, voters approved Amendment 64, which made possession of up to an ounce of cannabis legal for adults 21 and older under the state’s constitution. Possession of one to two ounces of cannabis remains illegal, whereas Colorado’s previous legislation made possession of up to two ounces a felony. HB21-1090, filed by Assemblyman Alex Valdez and Senator Julie Gonazales, provides for the elimination of the criminal possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, increasing the legal possession limit from one ounce to two ounces for adults 21 and older. Also, possession of any amount of cannabis remains illegal for those under 21. Aligning the statutory possession limit with the historical classification of minor drug possession offences should also ease the administrative burden of closing files on previous drug possession offences. Amendment 64 came at a time when no jurisdiction in the world had yet legalized cannabis for non-medical use, according to US Strategies. Many voters are still questioning whether ownership of an ounce should be allowed, let alone an ounce or two. We knew that at some point there would be a desire to increase the property line, so Amendment 64 was specifically designed to allow for that. These reforms are just the latest sign that a majority of Coloradans and their elected officials are satisfied with the state’s decision to end prohibition and regulate cannabis for adult use. We commend our legislators and the Governor for their continued leadership on cannabis policy issues. In addition, HB21-1090 adds cannabis possession to the list of offenses for which prior convictions may be sealed without notice to the prosecuting attorney. It would make the process less time-consuming and expensive, and improve access to criminal records exchanges for people with limited financial resources, who are also more likely to be convicted of drug possession. The bill also extends the right to de-register to those convicted of a Class 3 felony for growing marijuana. VS Strategies played a leading role in lobbying for HB21-1090, and the bill was supported by a broad coalition of advocates, organizations and businesses, including the ACLU of Colorado, the Black, Brown and Red Badge Coalition, the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association, Kind Colorado, Native Roots and Terrapin Care Station.