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Marijuana in Colorado & DUI Laws

Marijuana Legal PerspectiveHow it will affect how the Police will handle suspected DUI Marijuana Cases as reported by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Jeremy Rosenthal explores on how the passage of Amendment 64 has effected the new number of medical marijuana business applications in Colorado less than it was expected to and how it has created a number of new legal issues, such as how to measure impairment when it comes to DUI and marijuana use.

Since the passage of Amendment 64, the number of business applications for medical marijuana businesses has not spiked as much as expected, reports the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Currently, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, a Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue, has only received 31 applications for new medical marijuana businesses since the passage of Amendment 64, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. While this may seem like a large amount of new business applications, it is actually lower than officials expected, and the overall growth of the medical marijuana industry in Colorado is down 4 percent since 2011.

Amendment 64 legalized the recreational consumption, possession, growing, and intrastate transport of limited amounts of marijuana. It also sets up a comprehensive regulatory framework for the allowance of retail marijuana shops that are to be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol. Barring federal intervention, these shops will likely open their doors at the beginning of 2014. Many experts have opined that Amendment 64 allows for Amsterdam style coffee shops, i.e. – on-site consumption.

At its peak, the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado was approximately 800; however, about 300 of these businesses have since closed. Consequently, the paltry 31 new business applications for new medical marijuana businesses in Colorado to date reflects a number of factors, including that the supply has appeared to meet the demand for such businesses and that Colorado regulations, which require medical marijuana entrepreneurs to front tens of thousands of dollars to secure the required permits and approvals, are weeding out non-compliant or poorly backed startups.

While Amendment 64 has not dramatically increased the number of new medical marijuana business applications as was expected, it has dramatically shaken up Colorado legislators who are now scrambling to pass a Colorado DUI and DWAI law that will make it illegal to have 5 or more nanograms of active THC in one’s system when driving. These efforts have continually failed, in large part due to the fact that there are not objectively reliable and peer-reviewed studies that state that 5 nano grams is a scientifically valid number to determine impairment. However, legal experts suspect that a new DUID law regarding marijuana will likely pass this summer. Some are also predicting that, should such marijuana DUID laws be passed, a criminal defendant's lawyer will likely be able to argue that, even though a person had 5 or more nanograms of THC in his system while driving, other evidence (such as no record of bad driving) shows that the person was not impaired by cannabis.

The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal focuses its efforts on aggressively defending DUI cases, medical cannabis related matters & criminal law cases. If you need a Denver DUI lawyer, a Denver Metro Criminal lawyer or a Denver Sealing lawyer contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal. The Law Firm represents people who run afoul of the Medical Marijuana Laws and can help in Sealing certain cases. 

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All opinions stated in this article are by Jeremy Rosenthal and are based upon his years of experience and knowledge when it applies to laws in Colorado pertaining to medical marijuana, sealings and expungements, and do not necessarily represent those of THCbiz.