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Colorado’s Stricter Measures to Curb Underage Marijuana Access

Colorado’s progressive stance on marijuana legalization has brought about a multitude of benefits and challenges, including concerns about underage individuals gaining access to unauthorized marijuana. To address this issue, legislators passed a bill in early March known as “Keep Legal Marijuana From Those Under 21,” which introduces several amendments aimed at deterring minors from obtaining marijuana.

One of the key changes involves empowering retail marijuana stores to detain individuals suspected of using fake identification to purchase marijuana. Retailers can now confiscate the suspected fake ID, and failing to do so may not constitute a criminal offense, but selling marijuana to anyone under the age of 21 has been elevated to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Such convictions typically entail jail sentences ranging from six to eighteen months and/or fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

For children too young to make informed decisions about marijuana use, the bill mandates that medical marijuana retailers sell their products exclusively in opaque, resealable, and child-resistant packaging. This requirement supersedes the previous practice of affixing a label to the package with the message “medicinal product—keep out of reach of children.” The new packaging regulations align with the Poison Packaging Act, designed to create child-resistant barriers for children under the age of five. Patients with medical conditions that make opening child-proof packaging challenging will have the option to use alternative containers.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports an increase in marijuana use among 10th and 12th graders nationally in recent years, and Colorado’s schools have seen a surge in drug-related disciplinary actions since marijuana legalization. Illustrating the urgency of addressing this concern, just three days after the bill was placed on Governor Hickenlooper’s desk, three middle-school students in Westminster were arrested for distributing marijuana-infused candies among their peers. What makes this situation even more alarming is that most of the students were unaware that the candies contained any marijuana content.


In conclusion, Colorado’s proactive approach to minimizing underage marijuana access reflects the state’s commitment to responsible and legal marijuana use. These measures, while stringent, aim to protect both the well-being of children and the integrity of legalized marijuana. For legal counsel and guidance related to alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, individuals and families can rely on Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, a reputable law firm specializing in this area. Promoting responsible marijuana use and safeguarding youth remain vital priorities for the state.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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