Many states now allow the medicinal-use of controlled substances such as marijuana for the purpose of alleviating the symptoms of debilitating diseases such as cancer glaucoma, HIV, and AIDS.  While the new laws governing the controlled substances permit individuals suffering from such diseases to possess and even grow specified quantities, the new laws by no means imply that those individuals who wish to use these substances for strictly recreational purposes—who do not have approval from their doctors or state agencies—can possess these controlled substances.

In the case of marijuana, depending on the amount of the substance you’ve been alleged to possess, law enforcement officers could charge you with a petty offense, a misdemeanor, or even a felony.  Furthermore, the consequences associated with each of these offenses vary according to whether or not should officers charge you with possession, sale, or cultivation.  While simple possession conviction may land you a petty offense or a misdemeanor offense, sale or cultivation convictions are both felony offenses, and as such you’ll almost certainly spend time in prison while paying thousands of dollars in fines.

While those suffering from debilitating diseases have the right to possess and use specified quantities of marijuana, those individuals should still take precaution when procuring their medication as not doing so can result in serious consequences—including loss of access to their medication.  For instance, an individual who possesses or uses marijuana and who does not go through the registry to procure their medication can face the same charges as those individuals possessing and using the substance purely for recreational purposes.  Individuals who’ve been approved for the medicinal use of marijuana must also take measures to ensure no one takes advantage of their access to the controlled substance.  For instance, you could face criminal charges or simply removal from the registry should someone you know admit that he or she procured the drug from your home.

By not following the proper procedures or ignoring many of the strict regulations governing the registry and its procedures, you could easily wind-up among the many others within the state of Colorado who’ve been charged with possession of marijuana.  As a precaution, should you or anyone you know decide to procure a controlled substance for medicinal purposes, you should make sure you contact a qualified Colorado criminal defense attorney.  Doing so will ensure you have done everything within your power to protect yourself should a worst case scenario arise.