Many people have heard that Colorado “decriminalized” marijuana about a decade ago. Unfortunately, it’s more accurate to say Colorado decriminalized some possession of marijuana. There are still plenty of laws on the books that regulate marijuana, and you could end up in jail for breaking one of them.
One law specifically deals with the cultivation of marijuana in your home. The state does not let you grow as many plants as you want. Instead, the number you can grow will depend on the number of adults aged 21 or older who are living in the house. Further complications arise if there are minors in the house who get possession of marijuana.
Each Adult Can Grow Up to 6 Plants
Any adult aged 21 or older can grow up to 6 marijuana plants on their premises anywhere in Colorado. The cultivation is lawful if:
- A maximum of 3 plants are mature (flowering);
- You have the plants in an enclosed, locked space; and
- Your plants aren’t visible from outside the home.
Growing plants in a garden or near the curb? That’s illegal. Grow them in a locked room? Then you are on the right side of the law.
If two or more adults 21 or older are in the house, they can grow up to 12 plants. However, you can’t go over this limit.
What Happens if Minors Are in the Home?
You need to have the plants in a locked, enclosed place to comply with the law. Furthermore, you need to restrict access if you have any minors (under 21) in the house. This might mean you don’t give your children the keys to unlock the room that has the plants.
If minors gain access to marijuana, they could face minor possession charges. As an adult, you might also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Criminal Penalties for Breaking the Law
In our experience, people get busted for illegal cultivation when their plants are visible from the outside or they distribute/sell marijuana which draws the attention of the police. The police get a search warrant, and then they find you have too many plants.
If arrested, your penalties will depend on many factors, such as the number of plants you are caught growing and whether this is a first or subsequent offense.
For example, if you are caught with less than 24 plants, then a first conviction is usually a level 1 drug petty offense. The maximum fine is $1,000. But if you get a second conviction, then you can face level 1 drug misdemeanor charges, which means up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Likewise, penalties will be higher if you are caught with more than 24 plants in your house or if you were on probation/parole at the time of the arrest.
Give Us a Call
We can review the charges you face and possible penalties with an in-depth analysis of your arrest. Then we’ll come up with the best defense possible against illegal cultivation charges. Contact Bruno Lilly Legal today.