Although recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado the exact definition of the law, as well as local laws, make medical marijuana much more available. Amendment 64 allows anyone 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana on their person, but given the widespread ban on retail shops it appears that a medical marijuana dispensary or private cultivation will be the most predominant options for obtaining marijuana.
Colorado Springs, Colorado’s second-largest city, is just one of the many cities In Colorado that banned retail shops of marijuana. In these cities medical marijuana is still legal and according to state law it is actually still legal to possess and use marijuana recreationally, although there are some situations in which marijuana users in the state can still be charged with a crime.
There are eight primary areas that affect the legality of marijuana in Colorado, including distribution to minors or growing on public land. Medical marijuana users are allowed to carry up to two ounces of medicinal cannabis and anyone in the state may cultivate cannabis privately, provided the purpose is non-commercial. Public consumption of marijuana is illegal for both recreational and medical marijuana users.
Given that a typical joint contains about one gram of marijuana and that many medical marijuana users may smoke anywhere from 3-12 joints per day, medicinal use is desirable for anyone with a daily habit. A typical ounce is a little over 28 grams, meaning that even smoking 3 joints per day would exhaust the one-ounce allowed to recreational users in less than 2 weeks. The two ounces allowed to medical users still doesn’t allow for a full month’s supply common to prescription medication, but it does provide some extra leeway.
Another issue to consider when comparing recreational use to marijuana is the quality. As mentioned, the larger portion of cities in Colorado has opted to ban the sale of marijuana for recreational use, making private growth or medical dispensaries the only source. Growing marijuana is an undertaking that requires more effort than many people know and with the limit of 6 plants for private cultivation keeping a fresh supply is difficult. A medical dispensary, on the other hand, has a dedicated operation to growing the highest quality plants, and has a larger variety of strains.
Recreational use of marijuana is still possible, and legal, in Colorado, but for the chronic user medical marijuana is much preferable for several reasons. The larger variety of quality product that is available for purchase anywhere in Colorado, as well as the greater supply allotted to the medical user, make medical use the first option.
By Neil Charles