Drug Crimes | Grand Junction Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Blog
Since the 1980s, the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) has outlined strict guidelines to determine which drugs are illegal and which a person can possess or use with a prescription. In general, most states follow the federal standards for classification in their drugs laws, but also have the authority to modify them where they see fit. Colorado (and Washington) made history in 2012 when our state decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and many other states have followed suit since then.
Dangerous drugs are classified in different categories (called schedules), according to their abuse or dependency potential and accepted medical uses. These schedules are used by law enforcement for the purposes of classifying crimes and imposing penalties. Each state has its own schedules of controlled substances. Most states, including Colorado, model their schedules on the federal schedules, as listed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Colorado has, once again, taken a step forward in the fight to end drug abuse. What the Coloradan legislature has recognized is that charging every alleged drug user with a felony won’t help anyone, and it certainly won’t help the user. That is why the use and possession of small amounts of Schedule I and II drugs are no longer considered felonies.
As cannabis use has been legal in Colorado since 2012, many rules and regulations have had to be drawn up in regard to people driving while high. Marijuana, like alcohol, can impair your reaction time, making it dangerous to drive after smoking or consuming the drug. However, testing for recent marijuana use is difficult at best and almost impossible at worst. That is why, in a new age with legal recreation marijuana use, you should know your rights when it comes to roadside testing.
In May 2019, voters in Denver chose to decriminalize psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms. Initiative 301, which made arrests for possession of “magic mushrooms” the lowest law enforcement priority in the city and county, passed with a narrow 50.5% of the vote. For nearly 50 years, psilocybin has been classified as a Schedule I drug. This legislation mimics Denver’s vote to decriminalize cannabis in 2005.
Transporting controlled substances with the intent of selling or distributing them for profit is considered drug trafficking, no matter your intentions. Drug trafficking arrests have increased in Colorado since marijuana was legalized in the state in 2012, and as a result, prosecutors are taking the crime very seriously.
Many people arrested for drug trafficking aren’t aware that taking legally-purchased marijuana into another state qualifies as federal drug trafficking and carries much heavier penalties. Using the mail system or a package courier like UPS or FedEx to move drugs across state lines is also considered federal drug trafficking.
For the last 20 years, Country Jam has been a huge weekend in Mesa County, not only for the 4-day country music festival, but also for the number of MIP citations that have been issued. For example, last year alone 80 festival goers were issued citations for under-aged drinking. The penalties for a first time conviction for a minor in possession or consumption of alcohol is a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty dollars, the court can order that the defendant perform up to twenty-four hours of useful public service, require that the minor complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment along with an alcohol education program or alcohol treatment program. Furthermore, for a second or subsequent offence, the Colorado Department of Revenue will revoke the minor’s drivers license for three months up to one year for a third MIP conviction.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.