Are you a medical marijuana patient facing state charges in Colorado?
If you are arrested for a marijuana offense and the prosecutor files charges, you will first face an arraignment, where you will plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you will have various motions hearings and eventually you may go to trial before a jury or judge, and the process may take a significant amount of time. Use a Public Defender or private attorney, and feel free to have her or him contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss trial strategy.
Colorado Amendment 20, a constitutional ballot initiative, originally passed with 54% of the vote on November 7,2000. On May 16, 2007, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment later passed regulations, 5 CCR 1006-2.
Colorado law allows a patient with written documentation (also known as a recommendation) and a primary caregiver to collectively possess 2 oz. of processed bud, 3 mature plants, and 3 immature plants. However, a patient will also be allowed to assert the affirmative defense for greater amounts if such amounts are "medically necessary to address the patient's debilitating medical condition".
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment registry identification card is not mandatory in order to assert a medical marijuana affirmative defense in state court (though patients are encouraged to obtain a card as soon as possible after obtaining the written documentation). Valid written documentation must note that the patient was examined "in the context of a bona fide physician-patient relationship", that the patient has been diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition", and that the patient "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana".
A primary caregiver is "an individual who has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of the patient" and may probably serve only 5 patients at a time, although that is not law, and rather only informal Health Department policy. In Colorado, a "debilitating medical condition" is:
A Colorado patient may not use medicine in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public. Medical use of marijuana does not have to be accommodated by an employer in any workplace.
For more information, see How to Become a Patient in Colorado.
Another important resource is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Medical Marijuana Program website, which has registry identification card statistics, and relevant forms (including a registry identification card application and draft written documentation).
Sensible Colorado, run by Brian Vicente, is an invaluable resource, and is a great place to start with any of your Colorado medical marijuana legal questions. Check out Sensible Colorado's extensive Legal Guide, and if you have further questions, contact them at email@example.com or (720) 890-4247.
If the charges are dropped before trial, or if you are found not guilty at trial, you have a right under Colorado law to a return of all property seized from you by the police during the raid. If the case is dismissed, make sure to ask the District Attorney to specifically request the return of your seized marijuana and other property, or file a Motion for Return of Property if necessary.
Under Colorado law, it is unclear whether you can use your medical marijuana on probation. You and your public defender or private attorney can file a request that a judge order your probation officer to allow you to medicate while on probation.
Make sure you give all of this information to your Public Defender or private attorney and discuss it with her or him, and also that you and your lawyer continue to research whether there is any new caselaw in your state regarding medical marijuana. For information about how to find a lawyer familiar with medical marijuana law in your state, contact local activists to see if they have any information at Local Resources. Also, here is a link to several attorneys at Sensible Colorado. Additionally, here are two sites that have information on doctors without a bias against medical marijuana who may be familiar with its efficacy relating to your specific condition.