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Overview of Colorado Medical Marijuana Law

There are two primary medical marijuana laws in Colorado. The first and oldest Colorado medical marijuana law, Amendment 20, is a constitutional amendment that was passed by voters authorizing qualifying patients and their caregivers to possess, cultivate, and/or use medical marijuana. The second Colorado medical marijuana law enacted in 2010 established Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Code: C.R.S. 12-43.3-101 et seq. This creates a dual licensing scheme that regulates Colorado’s medical marijuana businesses at both the state and local level.

Amendment 20

In 2000, Colorado voters passed Amendment 20 into the state’s constitution, and is codified in article XVIII, section 14. This officially legalized limited amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients and their primary caregivers.

Amendment 20 also authorizes a qualifying patient who has been issued a Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry Identification Card, or that qualifying patient’s primary caregiver who has been identified on the qualifying patient’s Medical Marijuana Registry Identification Card, can possess:

(a) No more than two (2.0) ounces of a usable form of marijuana, and

(b) Not more than six (6.0) marijuana plants, with three (3.0) or fewer being mature and flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.

Amendment 64: The People have Spoken

In 2012, the state of Colorado became the first state in the US to vote in favor of ending marijuana prohibition – with about 55% of the Colorado electorate voting in favor Amendment 64.

Currently, the Colorado Medical Marijuana program is in operation; although, marijuana is now a legalized substance for adults in the state of Colorado.

Qualifying Medical Conditions
Colorado law states that medical marijuana may be recommended to Colorado citizens with the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS positive

OR …

The citizen has a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the
following and which, in the physician’s professional opinion, may be alleviated by the medical use of

  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain