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Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana


Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana

The first and most important rules for legalized recreational marijuana use are:

* Coloradoans can only possess and purchase one ounce of marijuana at any given time.
It is strictly forbidden to smoke, vape, or consume cannabis in public places (e.g. Red Rocks; Coors Field, 16th Street Mall, parking lots, airports, etc.).
It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

All Coloradoans can now enjoy marijuana for pleasure.

True to a certain extent. To a certain extent. However, many cities and counties have passed amendments that make marijuana grow facilities and retail pot shops illegal. Your employer also has the right, in private, to set up policies about marijuana use among employees.

Because marijuana is legalized in Colorado, minor drug offenses don’t seem so serious.

This is a common misconception. This is a common misconception. Your background checks will always reveal drug offenses.

I am 21 years old. Could I share my marijuana with my 18-yearold brother? Mail order marijuana

It’s impossible. No one under 21 can receive marijuana, even if it is free or for monetary compensation. Individuals under 21 years old are subject to the zero-tolerance laws, which means that if they’re found driving under the influence of cannabis, their licenses will automatically be revoked. 

Can I resell the legal weed that I purchased?

No. No.

Do these laws also apply to my Alabama college roommate who visits me?

Only if the non-resident has a Colorado government-issued ID. Non-residents can purchase up to 1/4 ounce of marijuana per transaction. Residents may only possess one ounce at a given time. Your friend could buy four different items in one day. However, that’s a grey area where the consequences (or lack thereof) are not always clear.

Is there an acceptable limit on how much marijuana I can use while driving?

The legal limit is 5 nanograms or less of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana) per milliliter in whole blood. This measurement is not a good one, as different marijuana strains have different amounts of THC. Also, different people metabolize the drug at different rates than alcohol. This is why you won’t see a chart telling you how many brownies or joints are too many to drive.

What is the best way to determine how much marijuana my body has?

Law enforcement officers who suspect that drugged driving is occurring will request a blood test if they have a valid reason. However, these blood tests are not yet refined and can prove to be inaccurate, as the Westword article points. The reporter was found to be heavily stoned after only hours of last smoking. Experts believe that people develop a tolerance to the drug, and may still be sober after 5 nanograms. If you are faced with a situation where blood testing is required, I recommend that you refuse to take it. You should refuse to take the test if you are unable to do so.

Does that mean I don’t need to pee in cups?

Because marijuana can be found in the urine, traces may remain long after you have been sober. A urine test is not an accurate indicator of potency. At the moment, a blood test is the best way to determine if active THC has been detected.

What time does it take for the authorities to perform the blood test?

They must show that a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.08 percent within two hours of driving. Although they have not yet established a time frame for drug testing, you can rest assured that it will be “reasonable”.

If I refuse to take the blood test, will I lose my driver’s license?

Possibly. You could lose your driver’s license for one year, just like with DUIs. There won’t be any administrative sanctions on your record, unlike drunk driving. This is because marijuana use continues to be prohibited at the federal level. You can politely decline to take the standard field sobriety test (walking straight, reciting alphabet backwards, etc.). You can always decline to do the standardized field sobriety tests (walking in a straight line, reciting the alphabet backwards, etc.) without being penalized.

Why should I refuse to submit to a field sobriety exam?

There are specific tests that can be used to assess drug intoxication, but not all police officers have been trained. Untrained law enforcement officers won’t be able to help you because they lack the resources and knowledge necessary to accurately judge your sobriety.

Wait! I will be arrested if there are any trace amounts of marijuana in me.

The mere presence of marijuana in your blood does not constitute a reason to arrest you. You cannot be convicted of DUI if you have 5 or more nanograms of marijuana in you system. However, a BAC greater than 0.08 percent will automatically make you a drunk driver.

Everybody says marijuana is safer than drinking alcohol. But what about driving while stoned?

Research shows that marijuana consumption has a negative effect on spatial perceptions. This means that drugged drivers tend to have slower reaction times, swerve more frequently and tailgate other cars more often. You might recall the classic scenes in stoner movies where the men are fascinated by the size and shape of their hands. Would you like them to drive you down I-25?

I am a medical-marijuana addict. Does this make me a target for DUID check?

It shouldn’t. A Colorado bill states that a person’s medical marijuana status (i.e., a valid ID from a medical-marijuana registry) cannot be used to prove impairment or probable cause for a test.

Can I drive with marijuana products?

It is illegal to drive with a marijuana open container, just like alcohol. Federal checks will show that you have committed a traffic violation. Any container containing marijuana must be sealed or open. My best advice is to keep it out of reach. Put it in the trunk!

My car does not have a trunk.

There are exceptions to every rule. You can keep unsealed marijuana in your SUV or minivan behind the last row. You can also keep open marijuana in your trailers and motor homes.

If I’m not the driver, can I smoke/consume marijuana in the car?

No. No. You can’t smoke marijuana in taxis or public transport. If you’re in a private-hired vehicle, you can still smoke marijuana.

Can I legally buy pot in Colorado?

Absolutely not, even Washington. First, the TSA is a federal agency and marijuana is prohibited at all airports including DIA. The drug is not allowed to be carried on board. In fact, marijuana cannot be left in your vehicle at airports. This would constitute illegal possession, which could result in a severe fine. Our neighboring states are taking steps to stop people from driving in their territory with marijuana purchased in Colorado. Wyoming won’t recognize a Colorado-issued card for medical marijuana and will arrest you for illegal possession.

What can I do to learn more about Colorado’s marijuana policies and laws?

DUI Defense Matters will make every effort to keep our website up-to-date. However, we recommend that you check out The Cannabist, Colorado NORML and Marijuana Info Denver (which only applies to the City of Denver) for more information on this topic.

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