Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws

colorado_mapCannabis for medical use was approved in Colorado by 54% of voters and became legal on June 1, 2001.

The act removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.” (Patients must possess this documentation prior to an arrest.)

Conditions Approved for Use of Medical Marijuana in Colorado

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS positive
  • Cachexia
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • Other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health

Cannabis Quantities Allowed

  • Possession: patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana
  • Cultivation: patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.

Update 29 November 2010:

  • Caregivers: The Medical Marijuana Registry program is asking for input from the public and interested parties to help draft a rule to take to the Marijuana Advisory Committee regarding primary caregivers. The proposition that the voters approved in 2000 stated that a primary caregiver must have significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition. Medical Marijuana\25 1.5-106.pdf
  • A new 2010 Colorado law requires a working definition for significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient. The 2010 law also states that a primary caregiver simply supplying medical marijuana itself is NOT sufficient to have significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.
  • Comments on how to define significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient with a debilitating medical condition should be sent to cdphemedicalmarijuanacomments@cdphe.state.co.us
  • Comments will be accepted until December 3, 2010. The comments will be used at a Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for December 8 2010
  • Patients who do not join the registry or who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” if they are arrested on marijuana charges.

Full details on how to get a medical marijuana card in Colorado.

Update  November 2012:

Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado on November 6th, 2012 taking almost 55% of the vote. This makes Colorado, along with Washington, the first U.S. state to legalize and tax cannabis for recreational purposes.

Amendment 64 allows people who are over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, over 21s will also be allowed to cultivate a maximum of 6 plants in their homes. There is also provision for a system of regulated marijuana retail stores at which marijuana could be sold which would be under a separate system from existing medical marijuana dispensaries.

It is important to note that the law cannot take effect until the Governor, John Hickenlooper, issues a proclamation certifying the vote. It is unsure when this will happen, although by law it doesn’t need to happen until January 5th 2013. Until that time it remains illegal to possess or grow cannabis in Colorado outside of the existing medical marijuana system.

Medical Marijuana card holders in Colorado remain unaffected by this legislation but are watching the situation with interest.

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Comments

  1. I’m 15 years old how old do you have to be to get a medical marijuana card because bud is like one of the greatest things on the world and it should be legal every where..LITTERALLY I want to-take a 2 year course in Michigan and then start growing big in Colorado
    #only ZIG ZAGS no swishers

  2. I went to a gun show several weeks ago with a friend and we were told that since he has a Medical Marijuana csrd he couldnt purchase a hand gun. We have asked several people and have got conflicting answers. Does anyone know where I can get the real answer?

    • Unfortunately in the state of Colorado it is illegal to obtain a MMJ red card as well as a license to carry. As of September 27, 2011 the ATF will no longer allow firearms salesmen to sell to any marijuana card holder.

    • call the Sec. of State to be completely sure re: any of this..I would and will..to much in the small writing peple mis and miss diagnos..Good Luck..I am a true believ on this neing dist. as a Meication..yet so many recreate on it blacken the eyes of us that don’t..Net of luck ear.

  3. has anyone had any LEGAL out door experience here? I’mlooking for a piece of property now that I’d like to do 90 legal plant count outdoor plants on but i’m weary…. why should it matter if it’s in a basement or out on some remote land that i own? shouldn’t right? anyone with first or second hand info on this?

  4. I need to renew my MMJ card in 10/2011 but I just want to use the dispensaries now and drop my Caretaker. Where do I find the Rules for this?? Anyone??

  5. I suffer from chronic pain in my right arm. Due to when I broke it years ago and needed two surgery’s to fix it.

    My arm will get very stiff and hard to bend, if I try it is pain full. I also have common headaches and severe migrains. And basicly every day I have mucsle spasms. I live in boulder Colorado, could I be eligible to get a card and grow. I really need help. Not sure were to go.

  6. I have been suffering from chronic pain due to sinus polyps, I’ve had 5 surgeries over 8 years, this condition continues to worsen, the doctors will not operate anymore on me because one of my eyes has been “violated”, I’ve lost some sight in my eye.

    I walk around with my head tilted, I suffer from chronic server headaches, I’ve been on steroids and painkillers for 8 years, I’m fed up looking for an alternative option to deal with the pain. The drugs the doctors are giving me is literally killing me slowly while my pain continues and I can not enjoy life.

    I’m a resident of Texas, all of my medical history is very well documented. Do I need to move to a state to be approved to try marijuana for pain relief? If so, any help or guidance to the process would be greatly appreciated.

  7. @Jim, insomnia is not currently covered as treatable by MMJ. You can petition the state to add this condition to the list through the Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment, or you may voice your concerns to local and state government officials.

    @Zachary: The specific paperwork and documentation you will need will vary from doctor to doctor. Currently, Colorado will not recognize anxiety or depression as just cause for MMJ use, however your back injury should fall under “chronic pain” and possibly, depending on the details of your condition, “persistent spasms”

    You will want to start making an effort to contact a physician in Colorado and discuss your condition with them directly. Some physicians will want to do a physical in person to determine the extent of your injury. Others will verify your condition based on medical records from another physician/hospital. There is little harm in a phone call, and this way you will know what you are getting into before you arrive.

    Feel free to contact the staff at Tree Line if you have additional questions. Copies of all of Colorado’s licensing forms can be found on our website. http://www.treelinemmc.com

  8. I was wondering if you could get a medical card for insomnia in the state of Colorado. If any one knows please let me know

  9. Hi, I’m considering moving to Colorado in the next couple years. I had a few questions to ask, if anyone could answer them.

    I was discharged from the military due to anxiety disorder and depression, but I’m not sure if it was an actual documented diagnosis or a quick-ship due to overmanning. I also suffer from chronic pain due to a back injury a few years ago in high school.

    If I presented my discharge papers to a physician, and commented on my pain, could that be potentially enough to obtain a MMC, or should/would I need more documentation? If anyone could help, please email me at sybrant@live.com. Thanks!

  10. i am bi polar too.

    as a child i was force fed pill after pill after pill until i walked around like a zombie. This went on for like 7 years. I was put on a total of 10 or so different drugs.. Now, because of being forced to take pills for so many years, I cant even swallow a tylenol for a headache.

    I go 2-3 days sometimes without sleeping maybe an hour or 2. I get into my manic states and get to where my highs will last weeks.. I smoke marijuanna at times of extreme highs so that i may be able to sleep. Bi polar is NOT just an excuse to get drugs legally. without ever experiencing bi polar for yourself u can not say with certainty that all medication will work. Nothing worked for me in all my 32 years.

  11. “I am the mother of a 22 year old son who has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.

    I too have worked in the medical industry for many years and am in complete disagreement with you and most likely, your true experience. How can you possibly judge this gal when you obvioulsy do not know your facts and want to stick with the lame excuse of medical marijauna being illegal.

    Medical marijuana is not illegal in Colorado and after witnessing first hand, the positive impact that this route has taken with my son, I am a staunch supporter and would welcome your inemptness on this debate anytime. Shame on you.”

    Maggle I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a family member who couldn’t survive without this. Marijuana is not just a drug people use to get high, it can help people with serious illness’s. Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.

  12. To whom ever it was that responded to Brandy last,

    I am the mother of a 22 year old son who has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. I too have worked in the medical industry for many years and am in complete disagreement with you and most likely, your true experience. How can you possibly judge this gal when you obvioulsy do not know your facts and want to stick with the lame excuse of medical marijauna being illegal.
    Medical marijuana is not illegal in Colorado and after witnessing first hand, the positive impact that this route has taken with my son, I am a staunch supporter and would welcome your inemptness on this debate anytime. Shame on you.

    • Maggie,I hate to disagree with you but marijuana is actually illegal in every state in the US but it is decriminalized in some. I am a daily smoker so I know its wonderful effects.I Suffer from PTSD and Major depression and Its been the only thing that puts my mind at ease while allowing me to be me. I hope your son is living life to the fullest and keep on supporting!!!

  13. Brandi,

    I have worked with individuals that suffer from some of the same disorders that you have and more, for over 20 yrs now. There are plenty of psychiatric medications out there, that will help with the voices you hear and the other symptoms. Not to be harsh, but I feel that it is an excuse to use an illegal drug, by saying that nothing works. Have you tried medication? Not one person in the 20 yrs that I have worked with, has said that the psych drugs were not beneficial. I know where you can get the psych meds, at your local pharmacy.

  14. I have bipolar, depression, and slight schizophrenia. Canabis is the only thing that I have found to quiet the voices that tell me to hurt others. I live in CO. Does anyone know if I would be able to obtain a MMC in this state for this?

  15. Pingback: Colorado Medical Marijuana Raids Must Stop

  16. Can someone tell me if SB 109 puts a moratorium on new caregivers that only grow and supply dispensaries?

  17. Pingback: Marijuana Registry Needs More Cash

  18. Pingback: Ganga Gourmet in Colorado

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