Legal status of marijuana in the state of colorado

Legal status of marijuana in the state of colorado
Steven Voser

Find out about the legal status of medical and recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado. Is marijuana illegal? Better safe than sorry!


Medical marijuana is legal for patients with a prescription from a licensed physician in Colorado since 2000. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people currently have access to medical marijuana.

The qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Colorado include:

  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • persistent muscle spasms (including characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • seizures (including characteristic of epilepsy)
  • severe nausea
  • severe pain


The sale and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes are legal for persons over the age of 21. Since 2016 the law allows both locals and tourists to purchase up to 1 oz (28 grams) of cannabis from a licensed establishment.

The law also allows the sale and possession of up to 8 grams of concentrates such as wax or shatter and up to 800 mg of edibles.

Even though the sale and possession of cannabis has been legalized, it still requires certain discretion. You should not go out and blaze in public as this is still seen as illegal, just as having an open container of alcohol is.

The law states that you can have up to 1 oz (28 grams) on you in public, but more will certainly get you in trouble.

Getting caught with 1-2 oz is seen as a Drug Petty Offence and can lead up to $100 in fines.

If you get caught while publicly using or displaying up to 2 oz of cannabis you can get a fine up to $100 and on top of that end up doing 24 hours of community service.

Carrying even more than that might have you ending up in jail for at least a year.

We are not aware of any possible law changes in the (near) future in Colorado regarding medical and/or recreational cannabis.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.