Last week, we told you about how many Coloradans are confused about the laws governing the growing of personal marijuana. After all, many people assume that since the recreational use of marijuana is now legal under Colorado law, they should be able to grow it in their backyard, right?
Not so fast. As we mentioned last week, Colorado law expressly says that it is “unlawful for a person to knowingly […] grow […] a marijuana plant” unless certain safeguards are taken, including the requirement that the plants be grown in a locked and enclosed space — meaning it cannot be grown outside where anyone can access it.
Therefore, if you decide to simply grow marijuana outside in your backyard — and not in a locked and enclosed space — you may be arrested and charged with:
- A level 3 drug felony if you have more than 30 plants
- A level 4 drug felony if you have more than six, but not more than 30 plants
- A level 1 drug misdemeanor if you have not more than six plants
In addition, you can face significant charges if you decide to grow more plants than is allowed by law, even if you are growing them in an enclosed and locked space.
For example, a recently-enacted Colorado law states that most residences can only have a maximum of 12 marijuana plants — although certain exceptions exist, not to mention that some cities have passed their own ordinances. If you violate this law, you can be looking at substantial criminal penalties, regardless of whether you had the plants locked up or not.