Under both federal law and Colorado law, a person has rights against unlawful searches and seizures. However, as one recent case shows, what constitutes a lawful search and seizure can be up for debate, especially when it comes to drug crimes.
Colorado is often seen as a pioneer in drug decriminalization efforts, having been the first state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. A bill recently passed by both the Colorado House and Senate addresses the penalization of certain drug charges that could have a significant effect on Colorado residents.
With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, many residents may want to grow marijuana in their home. However, there are limits on their ability to do so. A violation of homegrown marijuana laws could lead to serious drug charges.
There have been movements across the nation to decriminalize certain drug offenses, or even make possession of certain drugs lawful under certain circumstances. Colorado is one of the leaders in this initiative after it legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2014. However, some lawmakers want to take such initiatives a step further.
Drug offenses are some of the most frequently charged crimes in Colorado. Whether they are possession charges, trafficking charges or manufacturing charges, it goes without saying that a conviction for drug charges could lead to years behind bars. But, your troubles won't end there. Even if you aren't convicted, simply being charged with a drug crime can damage your reputation.
While most people in Colorado know that it is illegal to possess dangerous street drugs, they may be surprised to find out that, under certain circumstances, it is illegal to possess seemingly innocuous drugs, like cough syrup. Federal law recognizes that some drugs are extremely detrimental to one's health and welfare. Thus, when it comes to drug charges, it is important to understand how federal law classifies various drugs based on the danger they pose.
Sometimes, being pulled over for a traffic infraction can make a person nervous. This may be especially true if the officer asks the motorist if they can search the vehicle. A person may not know whether they should consent to such a search. As one recent example shows, these incidents can lead to serious criminal charges.
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.
While the use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, there are still many other drug crimes a Coloradan can be charged with. For example, the possession of substances such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can result in serious drug charges, as can the trafficking of these drugs. Even possessing drug paraphernalia can lead to drug charges that could result in serious penalties.
Recreational marijuana use may be legal in Colorado, but there is still a litany of drugs that are illegal to manufacture, sell and possess in the state. However, it is not unusual for people to possess otherwise legal items that could, potentially, be used to make illicit substances. Does this mean that, if caught, a person who possesses equipment that could potentially be used to make drugs can be charged with drug manufacturing?