Amendment 64 has allowed Coloradans greater recreation freedom when it comes to marijuana, even though it's still a controlled substance at the federal level. As is well known at this point, this has led to a number of challenges in the state. Colorado's position puts its new approach up against a black market that drives marijuana sales in other states. Many out of state residents have moved here and been arrested for large scale farms that take advantage of the situation.
Amendment 64 allows growing six plants per person, with three mature plants at any time. Individual cities, such as Colorado Springs, have placed a household cap that limits that number 12 plants in a home regardless of how many residents. Concerned medical marijuana patients are seeking a repeal of the rule but, at present, it stands as 12 plants per house no matter what.
Given the increased THC potency in Colorado grown marijuana, as compared to plants grown in Mexico or elsewhere, combined with a perceived lax attitude about the drug, many are coming into the state and exporting plants illegally. There have been high profile DEA raids in Pueblo County and El Paso Country is being closely watched for illegal operations.
These busts have found operations with hundreds and even thousands of plants, dwarfing the 12-plant limits and often run by out of staters exploiting the system. That doesn't mean average residents are immune. The law clearly states a limit and although it is contested, it's the rule and possession over the limit is an arrestable offense.
Law enforcement reaction to Amendment 64 has been mixed, especially in Colorado Springs. Agencies will sometimes crack down with strict enforcement to make an example.
As municipalities and the state determine the best way to balance the drug's legality amid public health concerns there are bound to be legal challenges that will cause unjustified arrests and trials. Whether facing marijuana growing concerns or uncertainty about sharing your harvest or possession, a skilled criminal defense attorney knows the law and its problematic interpretations in this new statewide industry.