Colorado (CO) Medical Marijuana Laws

Amendment 20 passed in 2000 and took effect the following year, exempting patients with written documentation from their physicians from criminal sanctions. While the state maintains a confidential registry and issues identification cards (PDF), patients who do not join the registry and are arrested for possession or cultivation of marijuana may argue an “affirmative defense of medical necessity.”

  • Illnesses: cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; chronic nervous system disorders; epilepsy and other conditions characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV/AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other muscle spasticity disorders; nausea (other conditions subject to approval by the state)
  • Possession: 2 ounces of usable marijuana
  • Cultivation: Six marijuana plants
  • Dispensaries: Must be at least 1,000 feet from a school or daycare center; local municipalities have the authority to prohibit dispensaries in their community
  • Caregivers: Must be listed on the medical marijuana registry; maximum of five patients
  • Statute: Colorado Constitution Article XVIII 14; Colorado Revised Statutes 18-18-406.3