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Dangers of Underage Marijuana DUIs: Beyond Your License

In the wake of recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado, concerns have emerged regarding its potential impact on minors’ access to the drug. Recognizing the need for proactive measures, the Colorado Department of Public Health has initiated the “Good to Know” campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness among parents of minors, discouraging the use of marijuana in teenagers and young adults under the age of 21.

The “Good to Know” campaign highlights important elements, including the legal repercussions linked to driving under the influence of marijuana, especially for those under 21.  Similar to alcohol, the presence of marijuana in the system of a minor can result in criminal charges if caught operating a vehicle. Colorado implements a strict zero-tolerance stance for THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, in the bloodstream of individuals under the legal age.

Even if a minor is not impaired, they can still be charged for smoking and driving, making it crucial for parents and young adults to understand the potential legal ramifications. What further complicates matters is the extended detection window for THC in the body compared to other substances. Even if marijuana was consumed days before, individuals can still face marijuana-related criminal charges.

The consequences extend beyond the legal realm. A DUI-D (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) conviction for a minor can have severe implications on their prospects. Employment opportunities may be limited, as having a marijuana-related offense on record can be a red flag for potential employers. Current employment may be jeopardized, and students attending Colorado universities may face additional administrative penalties.

It is worth noting that the only legal way for individuals under 21 to have marijuana in their systems is if they are registered as medical marijuana patients. However, the state’s drugged driving laws do not distinguish between recreational users and medical marijuana patients. Regardless of age, consulting with an experienced drugged driving attorney is advised for those seeking the best chance of having a DUI-D charge dismissed.

Navigating the legal landscape surrounding marijuana use and driving is complex, and individuals under 21 must be informed about the potential consequences. The “Good to Know” campaign serves as a valuable resource for parents, emphasizing the importance of open communication with their children about the risks associated with underage marijuana use and the legal pitfalls of driving under the influence.

Parents, educators, and community leaders can play a crucial role in supporting the campaign’s objectives by engaging in conversations about responsible marijuana use and the potential repercussions for minors. By fostering an environment that prioritizes education and awareness, Colorado aims to mitigate the risks associated with underage marijuana consumption and promote responsible behavior among the state’s youth.


In conclusion, the “Good to Know” campaign in Colorado represents a proactive step toward addressing the challenges posed by legalized recreational marijuana, especially concerning minors. By emphasizing the legal consequences of driving under the influence and providing information on responsible marijuana use, the campaign strives to create a safer environment for young individuals in the state. It is imperative for parents, educators, and legal experts to work together to effectively communicate the message, cultivating a culture of informed choices and responsible conduct among the youth in Colorado.

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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