Marijuana cultivation, subject to limitations, has been permitted in Colorado for several years now. This has been beneficial to many Coloradans, especially those who use the drug medicinally. However, residents can still face drug charges involving marijuana, particularly with regard to the amount of the drug they grow in their own home.
According to an investigation performed by Rocky Mountain PBS, there is still a black market for marijuana in Colorado, even though the drug was legalized for home use in controlled amounts. Reportedly, charges for felony drug crimes involving marijuana, including cultivating or possessing large amounts of marijuana, have increased seven-fold in 2017 from 2014. Moreover, in the past four years, the number of marijuana plants taken by authorities via federal search warrants went up nine-fold.
For these reasons, some of the laws regarding marijuana possession in Colorado are changing. It used to be the case that physicians could allow those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes to grow as many as 99 plants on their own, and caregivers of those using marijuana medicinally were also permitted to cultivate marijuana for the use of their patients. However, in 2018, the number of plants a person was permitted to grow in their home was reduced to 12 plants, although municipalities still had the authority to permit the growth of more than 12 plants within their boundaries.
As this shows, while marijuana cultivation in Colorado is legal to a certain extent, it is important for residents to understand where the line is drawn between lawful cultivation and unlawful cultivation. With laws constantly in flux, keeping up with what is legal and what is not can be challenging. People who have no intention of breaking the law could still find themselves facing criminal charges regarding marijuana cultivation. Therefore, it is important that those accused of crimes involving marijuana seek the legal help they need to understand the charges they face, so they can make informed choices regarding their defense.