Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

Navigating Colorado’s Marijuana Laws: Impact on Minors and Students’ Academic Future

In Colorado, the legal landscape surrounding marijuana is complex and closely regulated. While the state has legalized marijuana for adults aged 21 and older, it remains strictly prohibited for minors. Understanding these laws is essential, especially for young individuals who may inadvertently find themselves on the wrong side of the law. In this article, we’ll delve into Colorado’s marijuana possession laws, with a particular focus on the consequences for minors and students’ eligibility for federal financial aid. Additionally, we’ll introduce you to Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, a reputable law firm specializing in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado.

Colorado’s Strict Marijuana Laws for Minors

Colorado’s marijuana possession laws are clear: it is illegal for minors to possess marijuana in any form. Even for young adults who are legally considered adults at 18, marijuana possession remains off-limits until they reach the age of 21, mirroring the regulations governing alcohol.

When an underage individual is discovered in possession of marijuana, they may encounter various legal repercussions, such as fines, mandatory participation in drug education programs, and community service. These legal consequences have the potential to profoundly influence a young person’s life, potentially impacting their education, future employment opportunities, and more.

The Consequences for Students Seeking Federal Financial Aid

One often-overlooked consequence of a minor in possession (MIP) charge related to marijuana is its potential impact on a student’s eligibility for Federal Student Financial Aid. When filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), applicants must answer a crucial question: whether they have ever been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs during a period when they received federal student aid.

Suppose an applicant answers “yes” to this question. In that case, they may face additional inquiries and potential limitations on the financial aid they can receive. Possession convictions can result in automatic disqualification from federal student aid for a specific period. A first conviction leads to one year of ineligibility, while a second conviction results in two years of disqualification. Three or more convictions lead to an indefinite suspension from receiving federal student aid.

The consequences are even more severe for individuals convicted of selling drugs, with an automatic two-year disqualification and indefinite suspension for subsequent convictions.

Regaining Eligibility and Seeking Legal Guidance

Suppose a student’s eligibility for federal student aid is affected due to a drug-related conviction. In that case, it is possible to regain eligibility under specific circumstances. Engaging in a drug rehabilitation program and passing two unannounced drug tests can lead to eligibility restoration. However, further convictions can result in renewed ineligibility.

Navigating the complexities of Colorado’s marijuana possession laws and their implications for federal student aid can be challenging, especially for young individuals. Therefore, seeking legal guidance is crucial when facing such legal issues.


Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, is a reputable law firm specializing in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado. While their primary focus is on DUI/DWAI cases, their legal expertise extends to various aspects of Colorado’s drug-related laws, including marijuana possession charges.

For young individuals who find themselves facing marijuana-related charges or have concerns about their eligibility for federal student aid, Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, offers expert legal guidance and representation. Protecting your future, education, and legal rights is paramount, and their experienced team is dedicated to providing the necessary support and advocacy.

In a state where marijuana laws are continuously evolving, having a trusted legal resource like Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, is invaluable when facing legal challenges related to drug offenses.

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

Skip to content