Amendment 64 became effective on January 1, 2014, allowing Colorado residents 21 and over to possess up to an ounce, no matter the form, of recreational marijuana for personal use within private residences. Colorado residents can also grow six plants per year for private, non-commercial use. Non-residents may possess up to .25 ounces of recreational marijuana inside the state of Colorado.

THE DOS AND DON’TS: You cannot consume marijuana in places accessible to the public. This includes outdoor areas on private, non-residential land, which can be seen by the public. You may use marijuana outside on private, residential property if you are the owner, lessee, or have permission from the owner or lessee. You cannot cross state lines with it, including through the airport. You may transport the legal amount of marijuana in a vehicle, but do not have it in an open container and do not cross the state border with it in your vehicle.

DUI WITH MARIJUANA: It is still illegal to drive under the influence of any drug, including marijuana. If the driver’s blood contained five nanograms or more of THC, there will be a permissible inference that the driver was under the influence of drugs for purposes of the DUI statute. C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(6)(a)(iv). This permits but does not require the jury to find that the “under the influence” element of DUI has been established.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES: Nothing prohibits employers from enacting policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees. If you enact policies restricting its use, you may conduct random drug tests to monitor compliance with your policies. You may also conduct criminal background checks for the purpose of hiring employees who comply with your policies.

LEASES: Leasing to a licensed recreational seller is allowed. However, nothing prohibits any person or entity who occupies, owns, or controls a property to regulate the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property. You should address this policy specifically in any commercial or residential lease. If you rent for residential or commercial purposes, know whether your landlord is restricting the use of marijuana on the premises.

By: Kelley G. Shirk, Esq. Arnold & Arnold, LLP

Pro Bono Achievement 2011 Pro Bono Achievement 2012