Am I allowed to have marijuana in my car in Colorado?

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Q&A Message by Schwaner On January 1, 2014, marijuana use and possession was legalized in Colorado. Adults age 21 or older may now legally possess one ounce of retail marijuana in Colorado. Based on the wording of the law, possession of one ounce of THC is legal. You may also purchase marijuana in edible form, as well as Cannabis seeds. Residency in Colorado is not necessary.

So long as you are 21 years old or older, you have the right to possess and consume marijuana in Colorado. Now that you are legally allowed to consume and possess marijuana, it is important to be informed of the various nuances of the law that may apply to you. Below, we discuss whether and how you may keep marijuana in your vehicle.

The Law on Keeping Marijuana in your Car

Yes, you are legally allowed to keep marijuana in your car. The law on this was modeled after the open container laws for alcohol, but it is confusing and remains open to interpretation. The law requires that marijuana in vehicles traveling on public roads be in a sealed container. The seal on the container may not be broken. “Sealed container” is not defined in the law. The locked containers you receive should you purchase marijuana from a retail shop certainly qualify.

The law does not address other containers, such as a closed plastic bag or a pill holder. It is better to be safe than sorry in this situation, and not have marijuana housed in non-sealed containers readily accessible in your car. The law states that marijuana in an open container cannot be inside your vehicle where it is readily accessible. The exception to the rule is when the vehicle is designed, maintained and primarily used to transport people for compensation or in the back of a recreational vehicle (i.e. marijuana in the back seat of a taxi, limousine, or trailer would be ok under the law).

The law also allows an exception for unsealed marijuana in the back of vans or SUVs that do not have trunks- so long as the marijuana is kept behind the last seats.

Essentially, the important thing to remember is that if you are planning to transport marijuana in your vehicle it must either be in a sealed container from a legal retail shop, or it must remain in the trunk of your car. The glove box is a gray area, and can be considered “readily accessible.”

Penalty for Open Container Possession

A ticket for having marijuana in an open container is considered a traffic infraction. The fine for violation of this law is $50.

Questions on Colorado Marijuana Laws?

The law can be confusing to interpret. The Law Offices of Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. can help you understand your rights and obligations.
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