Drug SchedulesDrugs that cannot legally be consumed on a recreational basis in Colorado are divided into five categories, which are known as schedules. Here is a partial list of drugs in each of those:
- Schedule I – heroin, LSD
- Schedule II – codeine, methamphetamine, opium
- Schedule III – anabolic steroids, ketamine, hydrocodone
- Schedule IV – lorazepam
- Schedule V – buprenorphine
De-Felonizing Drug PossessionIn March 2020, Colorado House Bill 1263 went into effect. It essentially de-felonized drug possession. Specifically, possessing less than 2 grams of Schedule I and II drugs changed from being a felony crime to a misdemeanor one.
As it relates to marijuana, possession of more than 6 ounces for personal use is now a misdemeanor as well. You may legally possess up to 1 ounce for personal use. More than that results in increasing levels of drug offenses – e.g. it is a petty drug offense for possession of between 1 and 2 ounces.
Drug-Related FeloniesWith that said, a number of drug-related felonies remain on the books. These are divided into four levels:
- Drug Felony 1
- Drug Felony 2
- Drug Felony 3
- Drug Felony 4
Conversely, an example of a DF4 charge would be distribution or manufacturing with an intent to distribute less than 4 grams of many Schedule I or II drugs. Note that distributing less than 1 gram of marijuana to a minor is also a DF4 crime.
The sentences range from more severe for DF1 convictions – e.g. a sentence of 8-32 years – to less severe for those convicted of DF4 crimes – e.g. a sentence of six months to two years. The fines can be significant as well, ranging from a maximum of $1 million for a DF1 conviction to a minimum of $1,000 for a DF4 conviction.